This month our own Drew Beckwith was honored with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s Emerging Leader Award. This prestigious award is given to up-and-coming leaders working to educate Coloradans on our state’s most finite and precious resource: water.

But, for those of us who know Drew, his leadership has long been on display on water issues in Colorado and across the West. He has been a key member of our Healthy Rivers Team responsible for leading strategic research, legislative efforts, and policy initiatives that advance water conservation efforts and improved water management across the Interior West. His current work includes integrating water efficiency into land use planning and advancing smart water management and creative solutions at the state level in Colorado and Arizona that help benefit our rivers, agriculture, and communities.

Drew also recently was a leader in working to shape Colorado’s first-ever Water Plan. He also was instrumental in passing legislation in 2016 to legalize rain barrels in Colorado as a way to educate homeowners about the value of Colorado’s scarce water supply.

On a regional basis Drew has worked with key partners in the Colorado River Basin to develop long-term solutions to water scarcity issues, particularly in the Lower Colorado River Basin. These solutions, outlined in our report: Arizona’s Water Future: Colorado River Shortage, Innovative Solutions, Living Well With Less, which Drew co-authored, help shape the conversation on the Colorado River with a focus on building regional successes through collaboration and innovative solutions.

Recently, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs referred to Drew as “a scholar, author and outdoorsman with west-wide perspective and experience.” We couldn’t agree more. Drew is an easy presence around the office and is known for his quick wit and friendly gibes. If you watch his “Drew in a Canoe” videos explaining ‘water expert’ terms, you’ll get a glimpse of his clever, fun, and creative brand of leadership. Moreover, he is beloved by coalition partners for his patience in explaining complex water issues across the West and his passion for saving our imperiled rivers and waterways. You can follow Drew on Twitter (@DrewBeckwith) for interesting news articles, WRA activities, and the occasional non-water humor spot.

Western Resource Advocates’ staff and board are extremely proud of Drew and his well-deserved award from the Colorado Water Foundation for Water Education. We are fortunate to have Drew as a colleague who challenges and inspires each and everyone one of us with his passion and dedication to Western water issues. Congratulations Drew!

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