Earlier this week, our community lost a great visionary and leader. While many may not think twice about getting a glass of water from the tap, taking a shower or watering their lawns, Gary Bostrom was always planning ahead to ensure our community had the water needed to grow and thrive. It’s thanks to people like Gary that our customers don’t have to think about their water.
Gary retired from Colorado Springs Utilities as the Chief Water Services Officer in 2015 after 36 years of service on most all facets of the water system, from Homestake to Southern Delivery. His career spanned a variety of leadership roles from water supply acquisition, water and wastewater infrastructure planning and engineering, and developing regional partnerships.
Earlier this year, Gary received the Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas Award at the Arkansas River Water Basin Forum. The award is given annually to honor an individual who has served and worked to improve the condition of the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado. It was a well-deserved recognition.
A few of Gary’s career highlights include:
- The design, development and negotiations for the completion of the Southern Delivery System
- The development of the Arkansas River Exchange Program
- The completion and implementation the 1996 Water Resource Plan
- The establishment of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District
- The development of the Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan
- The development of Colorado Springs’ Arkansas River Exchange Program
Gary’s career was more than getting water to our community. He also believed in using water wisely. Under his direction, our 2008 Water Conservation Master Plan and 2015 Water Use Efficiency Plan incorporated measures that accumulate a permanent, water use reduction in our community of more than 10,000 acre feet by 2030. That’s a savings of more than 3 billion gallons of water!
Throughout his career, Gary was actively involved in a number of water organizations.
- Director of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District
- Past President of the Fountain Valley Authority
- Past director of the Aurora-Colorado Springs Joint Water Authority
- Member of the Homestake Steering Committee
- Past President of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company, the Lake Meredith Reservoir Company and the Lake Henry Reservoir Company
He was a true water champion for our community and region. Thanks in part to Gary’s vision and direction, Colorado Springs has a secure water supply and is a leader in water reuse in the state.
He was brilliant as an engineer and perhaps even better at building relationships and collaborating with others – even staying involved in regional water organizations after retirement.
He was a dear friend and will be missed.