CO DNR Produced Water Consortium Elects John Messner as Chair, Hires Director

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(DENVER) - The Colorado Produced Water Consortium (Consortium) announced the unanimous election of the first Chair of the Consortium, Commissioner John Messner of the Colorado Energy and Carbon Management Commission. The Consortium was created by the Colorado Legislature and signed by Governor Polis to help reduce oil and gas operation’s consumption of freshwater and access options to reuse and recycle produced water from those operations. 

“I am honored to serve as the Consortium’s first chair and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Consortium to identify opportunities to reduce freshwater use and develop an informed path towards increasing reuse and recycling of produced water in oil and gas operations,” said Chair Messner.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also hired the first Director of the Consortium, Hope Dalton. Hope comes to DNR with extensive experience in state and local government, including service at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, South Platte Renew, Metro Water Recovery, and Tri-County Health Department. Hope has experience in research, policy development, land use, and leading diverse stakeholder groups. The Director will work with the Chair of the Consortium and its members to ensure the group meets its statutory responsibilities in a timely and effective manner.

“Congratulations to Commissioner Messner on his election as Chair and the new members of the Colorado Produced Water Consortium. We are also excited to have Hope Dalton join the DNR team and provide administrative leadership as the first Director of the Consortium. Hope’s long experience in state and local government and expertise in water issues make her a great fit for this important role,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. 

Executive Director Gibbs also made a new appointment to the Governing Body of the Consortium, appointing Tessa Sorensen, Energy Liaison for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to replace CDPHE’s Trisha Oeth, effective September 15, 2023.

The Colorado Produced Water Consortium was established in the Department of Natural Resources by HB23-1242 to help reduce the consumption of freshwater within oil and gas operations. The Consortium's responsibilities also include making recommendations towards developing an informed path for reuse and recycling of produced water inside and potentially outside of oil and gas operations within the state, measures to address barriers associated with the utilization of produced water and research to evaluate analytical and toxicological methods employed during produced water treatment. Information on upcoming meetings and agenda items can be found on the Colorado Produced Water Consortium webpage and will be updated periodically.