Local April Montgomery Appointed Chair Of State Water Board
Norwood and longtime Telluride regional resident, April Montgomery, program director of the Telluride Foundation, was recently elected Chair of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).
Governed by a 15-member Board, the CWCB’s responsibilities range from protecting Colorado’s streams and lakes to water conservation, flood mitigation, watershed protection, stream restoration, drought planning, water supply planning, and water project financing. The CWCB also works to protect the state’s water apportionments in collaboration with other western states and federal agencies.
Montgomery was appointed to the CWCB in 2009 by Governor Ritter, and was later reappointed by Governor Hickenlooper.
“This is an exciting time to be on the CWCB and serve as chair, as the Board will be providing a draft Colorado Water Plan to the Governor in December 2014,” said Montgomery, “The Colorado Water Plan is an unprecedented grass roots effort, which will provide a road map for Coloradans to use and protect limited water supplies, as well as balance Colorado’s water priorities, including healthy watersheds and the environment, recreation and tourism, municipal water supplies and drinking water, as well as productive agriculture.”
Montgomery currently lives on Wright’s Mesa, outside of Norwood, Colorado, having lived in the Telluride region for 23 years. She served as the San Miguel County Representative for the Southwestern Water Conservation District for over 12 years and is also the CWCB representative for the Southwest Basin Roundtable. Montgomery currently works for the Telluride Foundation, where for the past eight years she has helped to manage their nonprofit building capacity efforts, grant program, and initiatives. She has a BA degree in Government from the University of Virginia and received her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1989. She is currently a member of the Colorado Bar.
“Over the last twelve years since I’ve been involved in state and regional water issues, I’ve seen some positive changes – while the increasing demands for water, persistent drought, and a growing population create new water resource challenges, there is increased collaboration occurring and a recognition of the need to balance municipal, industrial, agricultural, environmental and recreational water needs. I’m also heartened by the public’s as well as different interest groups’ increased involvement and awareness in water issues; business owners, land use planners, community organizations and the public are all realizing the importance of healthy watersheds and water infrastructure and their need to be involved.”
CWCB board Members serve three-year terms, are appointed by the Governor, and must be confirmed by the Senate. Board appointees are generally experienced in water resource management, water project financing, engineering, planning and development of water projects, water law, irrigated farming, and/or ranching. No more than five appointees can be members of the same political party, and all appointees must reside in the area they represent.
The CWCB board members consist of eight voting members representing the state’s major water basins: South Platte, North Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grande, Gunnison/Uncompahgre, Colorado Mainstem, Yampa/White and the Southwest Basin; one voting member representing the City and County of Denver; and the tenth Ex-Officio voting member is the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources. There are five Ex-Officio non-voting members who inform and advise the voting Members on water issues as they relate to or impact their agencies, consisting of the Director of the CWCB, the State Engineer, the Attorney General, the Director of the Division of Parks & Wildlife and the Commissioner of Agriculture.
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