A Succession of Rams Bring Water to Tribal Nations, Part 2: Bart Deming

In 2020, when Patrick Page (B.S., ’89) became the project construction engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project in the Farmington, New Mexico office, he continued a green and gold legacy by naming Bart Deming (B.S., ’96) as his deputy.

Bart Deming at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Page, Arizona
Bart Deming at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Page, Arizona.

Deming is a second-generation Ram and a third-generation Bureau of Reclamation employee. His grandfather, who studied engineering at Colorado A&M in the early 1940s, worked on dams for Horsetooth Reservoir, and his father was born in Fort Collins.

Deming, who was born in Salt Lake City, was raised in Duchesne, Utah, where his father was helping to construct two dams for the Bureau. Shortly before starting high school, Deming and his family moved to Bayfield, Colorado, where his father worked on the Ridges Basin Dam located south of Durango and the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project in New Mexico.

Similar to Page, Deming first attended a small Colorado college (Fort Lewis College) for three years before transferring to CSU because of the national reputation and research centers of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. The decision proved to be a good one: he received a scholarship, made many lifelong friendships, and met his wife, Jennifer Warren (B.S., ’98; D.V.M., ’02), who had previously played basketball at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, but chose to become a veterinarian and transferred to CSU.

Bart and Jennifer Deming with their children after a CSU football game in October 2022.
Bart and Jennifer Deming with their children after a CSU football game in October 2022.

After graduation, Deming worked at a Greeley engineering firm, while Jennifer finished her degrees at CSU. In 2002, the couple moved closer to her family living in Eugene, Oregon. She began working at a local veterinary clinic and he worked for Hardey Engineering & Associates in Medford, where he got involved with municipal water projects and realized that was where he wanted to focus his career.

When a civil engineering position opened in 2012 with the Bureau on the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, Deming was eager to apply. “The opportunity to work on a project where the federal government is partnering with the Navajo Nation and state of New Mexico to bring water to people on reservations to improve their lives and livelihoods was just something I had to jump on. It was a no-brainer to come back to Durango.”

He and Jennifer also joined the Alumni Association and have a sidewalk brick at Canvas Stadium. “We really appreciate all our colleges did to help shape us into successful professionals,” Deming said. “We like to give back by supporting scholarships. Being members of the Alumni Association is part of that for us.”

Starting as a civil engineer with the Bureau, Deming worked his way up in the organization and became Page’s deputy in 2020, and then assumed the top job when Page retired in January 2022. Deming chose Ryan Gladden (B.S., ’06) as his deputy.

Ryan Gladden (far left) and Bart Deming (center) are surrounded by team members from the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project after receiving an award for the project.
Ryan Gladden (far left) and Bart Deming (center) with team members from the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project after receiving an award for the project.

In April 2023, Deming, Gladden, and several team members traveled to New York City to accept a “Best of the Best” award from Engineering News-Record, an industry publication, for the design and construction of the first water treatment plant and pipeline, which now provides drinking water to thousands of people in the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations.

In his acceptance speech, Deming said, “This award helps shine a national spotlight on what’s going on in these tribal nations and how important it is that they have the same rights and opportunities that many of us take for granted, like drinking water in our homes, and the economic development and job creation that come with having water.”

The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project also received three awards in 2021 from The Design-Build Institute of America for the construction of the first of two water treatment plants.

When the decades-long project is completed in 2029, the operation and maintenance of the system will be transferred to Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which is also responsible for delivering water to communities. Not surprisingly, their operations manager, David Shoultz, formerly with the Indian Health Service, received his master’s degree in civil engineering in 1995 from CSU.

The Deming family tradition of attending Colorado State may continue into a third generation with the Deming children, Brody and Natalie. Brody is a sophomore in high school and is considering studying engineering at his family’s alma mater.

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When you join the Colorado State University Alumni Association, you become part of something bigger – a global community of green and gold that keeps alumni connected to the University and each other. Annual members, Bart and Jennifer, are making an impact on current students and future Rams through their volunteerism and donations; providing support for alumni programming, outreach, and nationwide engagement; and preserving time-honored traditions that bind us together as Rams. You can make a difference too, and gain access to benefits such as exclusive invites, bookstore savings, career services, and more. Become a member today!