The US Department of the Interior is electing a new water and science officer to focus on drought resilience

washington • The US Department of the Interior has hired an official from the federal government’s Office of Water Management as its deputy assistant secretary of water and science.

The department announced the appointment of Michael Brain on Wednesday. He replaces Tanya Trujillo, who recently resigned after playing a key role in negotiations over the shrinking Colorado River.

The change in leadership comes as the states, cities and farmers who depend on the Colorado River struggle to decide how to reduce its consumption. In August, the Home Office will present its annual analysis of the state of the river and announce whether there will be further cuts in the coming year.

In recent years, the federal government has cut some states’ water allocations, offering farmers, cities and others billions of dollars in cuts. But key water officials — including Trujillo — said these efforts were insufficient to prevent the system from collapsing.

In his new role, Brain will help the Home Office improve drought resilience and provide more funding for infrastructure projects.

Brain has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation since March 2022, overseeing media and Congressional relations. Previously, he worked as a congressional staffer focusing on water and environmental issues and helped develop funding legislation related to water policy.

Brain holds a law degree in urban planning, land use, and environmental law from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Boston College.

Justin Scaccy

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