Denver – Jan. 31, 2017- The Colorado Water Congress awarded Travis Smith, a life-long advocate of San Luis Valley and Colorado water issues, the 2017 Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year" Award.
The Aspinall Award is given annually in recognition of a career of service and contribution to Colorado’s water community. It is awarded to a person who has dedicated a significant part of his or her career to the advancement of the state and its programs to protect, develop and preserve the state’s water resources.
The previous Aspinall Award winners and Colorado Water Congress officers selected Smith for this award.
Travis Smith has lived in Del Norte, Colorado since 1977. In 1981, he earned his B.A. in Business Administration/Economics from Adams State College in Alamosa. Since 1992 he has owned and operated a family ranch raising commercial cattle with his wife Maureen. Smith served in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1976.
Travis Smith has served as Superintendent of the San Luis Valley Irrigation District since 1992, overseeing the operation and management of the Rio Grande Reservoir, the Rio Grande Cooperative Project, and Farmers Union Canal. The District provides water for approximately 62,000 acres of highly productive farm ground in the San Luis Valley. From 1978 to 1991 he was employed by the Colorado Division of Water Resources as Water Commissioner in District 20, administering the Rio Grande main stem. Travis, a strong advocate for SLV water issues, serves as a Colorado Water Congress Member, the current Rio Grande Basin Director and past Chairman of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and two wonderful children, Will and Helen. The family ranch is located on San Francisco Creek south of Del Norte, Colorado.
About the Wayne N. Aspinall Award
The Colorado Water Congress presents the prestigious Wayne N. Aspinall Award annually to a Coloradan who has long demonstrated courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water - those attributes possessed by Mr. Aspinall. The late Wayne Aspinall, a lawyer and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, remains one of the most influential water leaders in Colorado history.