Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman has named Brent C Esplin director of the Upper Colorado Region. Esplin has more than 20 years of Reclamation experience. He will officially assume his duties as regional director on July 21, 2019.
“Brent has been a key leader in western water and power for more than two decades,” said Commissioner Burman. “That experience will be crucial in the Upper Colorado Region as we wrestle with complex issues like ongoing drought and develop innovative approaches to secure and protect life-sustaining water resources.”
As regional director for Upper Colorado, Esplin will lead more than 750 Reclamation professionals who manage 82 projects and dams, including 19 hydroelectric powerplants. Those facilities provide water to approximately 5.7 million people living in the region and electricity for almost 6 million power users. Upper Colorado Region reservoirs and surrounding lands also provide world-renowned recreational opportunities and welcome millions of visitors every year.
“I’m honored and humbled to lead the Upper Colorado Region,” Esplin said. “This is a diverse region, from the highest Rocky Mountains to the entrance to the Grand Canyon and down through the Rio Grande Valley, our focus remains to efficiently deliver water and power to the millions of people in our region and beyond who rely on Reclamation facilities.”
Esplin first joined Reclamation in 1997 as a civil engineer in the Montana Area Office and has served in a variety of regional and field-level leadership positions, most recently as deputy regional director for the Upper Colorado Region. His experience includes successfully addressing complex water supply and hydropower production issues, working with endangered species recovery programs; implementing Indian water rights settlements and collaborating on key river compact issues across multiple western river systems.
A native of Smithfield, Utah, Esplin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, both from Utah State University.