Governor Polis and DNR Director Gibbs Announce Jason Ullmann as Next Colorado State Engineer & Division of Water Resources Director

Thursday, March 21, 2024

DENVER - Today, Governor Jared Polis and Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources announced Jason Ullmann as the next Colorado State Engineer and Director of the Division of Water Resources (DWR).

“I congratulate Jason as he steps into this new role. Jason brings years of experience in water management, from working with water users in the orchards and fields of the Western Slope to leading on interstate water issues like the Colorado River. At a time when the stakes are higher than ever before on water, I look forward to his contributions and leadership as our State Engineer and know his expertise will help protect Colorado’s precious water resources,” said Governor Jared Polis.

Jason brings over 20 years of experience in water resources engineering, 14 years of which have been at DWR, most recently as the Deputy State Engineer. Before his time with DWR, he gained valuable experience in water resources management as a City Engineer for the City of Montrose and as a consulting engineer for various ditch and reservoir companies throughout Colorado.

“The State Engineer and Director of the Division of Water Resources is charged with the difficult task of shepherding our State’s precious water to users within the State of Colorado and through our interstate compacts and decrees,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Jason is the right person at the right time as our next State Engineer as he must ensure these uses while balancing the increasing needs of outdoor recreation, wildlife and managing for the impacts of climate change on our water supplies. I know Jason is up for the challenge and look forward to working with him as State Engineer and Director at the Division of Water Resources.”

The Division of Water Resources, within Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources, has over 270 staff members working in every watershed in Colorado.  Their charge is to administer the state’s water rights, issue water well permits, represent Colorado in interstate water compact matters, monitor streamflow and water use, approve construction and repair of dams and perform dam safety inspections, issue licenses for well drillers, and assure the safe and proper construction of water wells, and maintain numerous nation-leading databases of publicly available Colorado water information.

“As a teenager I developed an understanding of the importance of water in Colorado, both working to set irrigation on my grandparent's farm and backpacking to beautiful remote lakes. This turned into a passion for water that led me to pursue a career in water resources engineering," said Jason Ullmann, Colorado State Engineer & Director of the Division of Water Resources. 

“Since the appointment of the first State Engineer in 1881, the position has managed the staff in charge of directing the use of Colorado's water resources based on the prior appropriation system and ensuring that Colorado meets its compact obligations to downstream states. Increasing demand, including to protect water in streams for environmental and recreational uses, paired with decreasing supply, have added to the complexity and challenges that DWR faces in fulfilling this role. It is an honor to be selected as the State Engineer and Director of the Division of Water Resources, and I look forward to leading our dedicated staff to tackle these challenges,” Ullmann continued. 

Jason grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and attended Colorado State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Jason has spent the past 17 years in Montrose, Colorado where he has spent his time in numerous volunteer roles and raising three kids with his wife Jessica.