Management and Organization

A Growing Organization

Northern Water is the largest water provider in Northeastern Colorado. Under the umbrella of our 13-member board, Northern Water is led by a general manager and four division directors. The division directors oversee their respective divisions’ operations and supervise department managers with employees ranging from support personnel and engineers, to operation, maintenance and administrative staff.  

Brad Wind, General Manager
Jeff Drager, Director of Engineering
Esther Vincent, Director of Environmental Services
Jerry Gibbens, Director of Operations
Sander Blackburn, Director of Finance and Administration

Organizational Chart

Engineering Division

The Engineering Division helps ensure efficient and timely water deliveries while also planning for future water supplies and other organizational goals. Responsibilities include: water supply planning and forecasting to maximize operations; designing improvements to existing water supply and delivery systems; planning new water supply projects; protecting water supplies through water rights and permitting issues; and managing property and real estate. 

Environmental Services Division 

The Environmental Services Division supports the development of future water supplies and the operation of existing water projects. Responsibilities include: ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and commitments; protecting existing and future water supplies; managing and protecting watershed and forest health; restoring and maintaining stream and aquatic habitat; collecting water flow, water quality and weather data; developing and supporting  data management systems; and providing water efficiency education and technical support. 

Finance and Administration Division

The Finance and Administration Division provides administrative, financial and communications support to Northern Water and its divisions. Responsibilities include: managing water contracts and inclusions; administering general liability and other insurance; managing budgets, accounting, purchasing and the organization’s other financial responsibilities; administering, operating and maintaining Northern Water’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and application support; maintaining the organization’s geographic information system (GIS) data and applications; providing cybersecurity and secure IT protection; controlling and managing all official records; providing administrative services; managing and overseeing all internal and external communications; coordinating all organizational events and meetings; and managing all water scheduling activities. 

Operations Division

The Operations Division’s largest responsibilities include helping operate and maintain the Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects, as well as Northern Water’s pipelines and two hydropower plants. The division is also responsible for maintaining Northern Water’s facilities and the organization's vehicle and equipment fleet. Operational responsibilities include: around-the-clock monitoring and controlling pump plants, canals, pipelines, reservoirs, hydropower facilities, buildings and grounds using a comprehensive SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system and manual operations by field staff. Maintenance activities include: constructing civil, electrical, mechanical and SCADA systems; and repairing and modernizing equipment, infrastructure and facilities via an enterprise-wide asset management system.