Bennet, Hickenlooper Applaud Anne Castle’s Nomination to Chair the Upper Colorado River Commission

Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper applauded President Joe Biden’s intent to nominate Anne Castle to serve as the Federal Commissioner of the Upper Colorado River Commission. As the Commission's chair, Castle will work with four state-appointed commissioners to comply with the Colorado River Basin Compact in the Upper Colorado River Basin.  The Commission seeks to promote interstate comity and remove causes of present and future controversies. The Commission is comprised of one representative appointed by the Governor of each Upper Basin State and one member appointed by the President to represent the United States. No Senate confirmation is required for this nomination.

“Through their collaborative work up to this point, Commissioners from the Upper Basin states have demonstrated their incredible capacity to work together to meet this moment.  Anne’s decades of experience focusing on Western water and the Colorado River will be an incredible asset in support of their effort to face the unprecedented challenges plaguing the Colorado River Basin due to climate change and severe drought,” said Bennet.

“Few people know more about water than Anne Castle, and even fewer know more about the Colorado River than she. Anne will be in the thick of deciding how the two basins will work together. She’s a sure way to find smart solutions,” said Hickenlooper.

Castle served as Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior in 2009 where she led the Department’s WaterSMART program and oversaw the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey until 2014. From 1981 to 2009, Castle practiced water law at Denver-based law firm Holland & Hart where she chaired the Management Committee and Natural Resources Committee. 

Castle now serves as a senior fellow at the University of Colorado’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment focusing on Western water issues including the Colorado River operational policy and the integration of water and land use planning. She is also the President of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Water Trust and serves on boards or advisory committees for Western Resource Advocates, Colorado Legal Services, the Salazar Center for North American Conservation, the Airborne Snow Observatory, Stanford University’s Water in the West program, and the Colorado River Water and Tribes Initiative, where she co-leads an initiative on universal access to clean and safe water in Tribal Communities. Senator Bennet introduced the Tribal Access to Clean Water Act in the Senate based on recommendations from this initiative, legislation that was co-sponsored by Senator Hickenlooper.  

She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in applied mathematics in 1973 and obtained her J.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1981.