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Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Members

Members of the Citizens Advisory Committee serve two three-year terms. The committee is comprised of three Denver customers, two West Slope residents, one suburban customer, one environmental representative, one public interest group representative, one representative from the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and one suburban distributor representative. Committee members are selected as a result of the committee’s recommendations to Denver’s Board of Water Commissioners.

Joshua Baile — suburban distributor representative (chair)

Joshua Baile represents suburban distributors. He is a Colorado native and has over 20 years of experience serving the community through the operations management of water utilities. Josh’s position as operations manager for Willows Water District keeps him connected to the partnership between Denver Water and its distributors. His company, HYDROLYSIS, provides environmental and business solutions to Colorado water providers. Josh is passionate about preserving the availability and quality of Colorado resources. He has been involved with the distributor forum for many years as a Denver Water employee, consultant and distributor. Josh has an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

— Appointment January 2015 to December 2017, first term

Loretta Pineda — public interest group representative (vice chair)

Loretta Pineda represents public interest groups. She is currently working with a local non-profit, Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), as the community campaign coordinator for ELK’s new environmental education center.  A Colorado native, she retired from the state of Colorado in May 2014 after 33 years of public service.  From 2010 until her retirement, Loretta served as director of the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS). Prior to this appointment, she served as the director of the Office of Active and Inactive Mines from 2004 to 2010, and as director of outreach and administration from 1998 to 2004. She worked closely on developing partnerships with watershed groups, local, state and federal government agencies to address reclamation and environmental protection at active and abandoned mines in Colorado.  Loretta is pursuing new experiences related to environmental community service projects, youth engagement and non-profit management. She has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in technical journalism and management credentials through the University of Colorado Denver, Graduate School of Public Affairs.  

— Appointment January 2015 to December 2017, first term

Bethany Gravell — Denver representative

Bethany Gravell represents Denver residents. Bethany is a local government specialist at The Kenney Group, a Denver-based political consulting firm. Prior to joining the Colorado Conservation Trust, she was executive director of Rocky Mountain Wild, an organization responsible for protecting 1.7 million acres of wildlife habitat in the Rockies. Bethany also served as an account executive with CRL Associates, where she helped secure voter approval for a $65 million bond package to restore and expand the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. She managed the successful campaign of Denver City Councilwoman Peggy Lehmann and served as the councilwoman’s aide, addressing constituent needs in her southeast Denver district. Bethany earned an undergraduate degree from Providence College in Rhode Island and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Colorado. She was awarded the 5281 Award from Mayor John Hickenlooper for outstanding service and dedication to Denver.

— Appointment January 2016 to December 2018, second term

Mike Cowan — suburban representative

Mike Cowan represents suburban customers. Mike is involved in the community and serves on the board of directors for the Grant Water and Sanitation District. Mike is a retired civil engineer with 38 years of experience in planning and managing large-scale water storage and conveyance systems. Early in his career, he was instrumental in developing a digital simulation of the Colorado River system of reservoirs, diversions and hydropower plants. This experience gave Mike a good understanding of the law of the Colorado River and how the waters of the river are divided among the seven basin states.  He also is experienced in rate-setting practices for water, hydropower and sewage/drainage services. He has been involved in water and hydropower resource management activities in all of the major river basins in the western United States. Mike’s background gives him a local, regional and multistate perspective on water resource management. He is well aware of the need for conservation, collaboration and creative/cooperative solutions to challenges facing Denver Water. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from San Diego State University and has been a resident of Littleton for 26 years.

Appointment January 2016 to December 2018, first term

John Stafford — Homebuilders Association of Metro Denver representative

John Stafford represents the Homebuilders Association of Metro Denver.

— Appointment January 2014 to December 2016, first term

Paul Aldretti — Denver representative

Paul Aldretti represents Denver residents. He currently serves as health equity advocate at the Denver Department of Public Health and the Environment. For almost three decades Paul’s professional endeavors and personal commitment have focused on creating a more just, equitable and sustainable society. Since 2013, this work concentrated on public health and the built environment. Prior to this, he helped design and implement programs and public policy related to energy, climate change, social responsibility and sustainability. Paul has worked with government agencies, corporations, trade associations, non-profit organizations, utilities and other groups throughout the United States and internationally. A graduate of Colorado State University, his greatest learning opportunities came as a Fulbright Fellow in India, an adjunct professor of sustainability at Naropa University in Boulder, and in his work with diverse communities. Paul is a native of Colorado and long-time resident of north Denver. His most important “job” is husband to a remarkable woman, father of two amazing men, and father-in-law to another wonderful woman.

Appointment January 2016 to December 2018, first term

Hunter Causey — West Slope representative

Hunter Causey represents West Slope residents. He is a water resources engineer in Glenwood Springs with the Colorado River Water Conservation District, a public water policy agency representing 15 West Slope counties.

Hunter is passionate about finding ways to sustain the vitality of the state’s West Slope rivers while maintaining Front Range economic prosperity. Prior to joining the Colorado River District, Hunter worked as a consulting engineer at Wright Water Engineers, where he worked to meet the needs of clients in both the private and public sectors. Hunter holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology in civil engineering. After obtaining his master's degree, he completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Mongolia under an environmental studies grant. When not working to protect West Slope rivers, he enjoys recreating on and around them while fishing, rafting, skiing, hunting and biking.

— Appointment January 2016 to December 2018, first term

Gary Martinez — West Slope representative

Gary Martinez represents West Slope residents (Summit, Grand and Eagle counties). 

— Appointment January 2017 to December 2019, first term

Richard Newton — environmental representative

Rich Newton, the environmental representative, grew up in the Northeast. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. He moved to Grand County in 1976 and practiced law there for 40 years, retiring in 2015. He is an avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman and a member of numerous environmental organizations. He also serves on the board of directors of the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He has an abiding interest in protecting the environment while recognizing the necessity of providing water to the Front Range communities.

— Appointment January 2017 to December 2018, first term

Emily Orbanek — Denver representative

Emily Orbanek represents Denver residents. A native of the Western Slope, Emily has lived in Denver since 2014. She is the parks and wildlife program manager for Great Outdoors Colorado. She is responsible for managing the relationship with GOCO’s largest partner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Parks and Wildlife receives half of GOCO’s annual funding, about $35 million. In her role, Emily works with a cross section of the agency, from the governor-appointed Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, to the leadership team, to the regional and field staff. She encourages strategic funding decisions to achieve joint priorities for both agencies. Prior to GOCO, Emily worked on federal public lands campaigns in southwest Colorado after spending two years in El Pomar Foundation’s Fellowship program where she worked with communities across the state to solve regional issues. She spends as much time as she can in the great outdoors, fly fishing, backpacking, and chasing big game in the fall.  

— Appointment January 2018 to January 2021, first term


If you would like to be informed about Citizens Advisory Committee openings when they occur, please contact:

Heather Stauffer
Liaison to CAC at
Denver Water
1600 West 12th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
[email protected]