Press Release: Colorado River Authority of Utah Names Executive Director

June 29, 2021

This appointment positions Utah well with fellow Colorado River Compact states

SALT LAKE CITY – The Colorado River Authority of Utah (CRAU) announced the critical hiring of longtime Colorado River expert Amy I. Haas as its first Executive Director.

Haas hails from New Mexico and brings 20 years of water industry experience. This includes multiple positions specific to the Colorado River Basin.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” Haas said. “The Colorado River is imperative to our existence and quality of life in Utah, and I am very eager to serve the people of Utah as we work to overcome the challenges we are facing.”

Currently serving as Executive Director of the Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) since 2018, Haas became the first woman to do so in the organization’s 73 years. Prior to that role, she worked as the Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for UCRC.

Additionally, Haas served as both General Counsel and Acting Director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. From March 2015 through May 2017, she worked as New Mexico’s Upper Colorado River Commissioner and its Colorado River Basin States Representative. Haas began her law career in New Mexico as an attorney in private practice, concentrating on water and land use law. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico.

Haas will begin this position in late July and report to Colorado River Commissioner of Utah and Colorado River Authority of Utah Chair Gene Shawcroft.

“Amy’s leadership and experience collaborating with the other Colorado River Basin States and the Republic of Mexico are huge assets as we continue to establish the Authority,” Commissioner Shawcroft said. “We are thrilled about the vision she will bring to the CRAU.”

“Amy is one of the great Colorado River experts of our time,” Brian Steed, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, said. “She offers a unique perspective to the complex water issues Utah is working to navigate.”

CRAU is a recently-formed state agency. It is currently establishing organizational infrastructure and hiring other key staff members and technical experts. The Authority anticipates holding its first board meeting on July 30, 2021. Proper notices will be publicly posted with details.

The Authority’s website is anticipated to launch in July at and offer additional information and resources.

About the Colorado River Authority of Utah

Established in 2021 through landmark legislation sponsored by the Utah State House Speaker and Senate President, the Colorado River Authority of Utah seeks to protect, preserve, conserve and develop the State’s Colorado River system interests. Sixty percent of Utah’s population relies on water delivered from the Colorado River. The Authority is committed to collaborating with the six other Colorado River Basin states and planning for current and future generations of Utahns.



Kristen Kerr
[email protected]