State Engineer appointed to a second term

February 28, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 26, 2024) — On Monday, Feb. 26, Teresa Wilhelmsen began her second four-year term as Utah’s State Engineer. Wilhelmsen’s swearing-in ceremony was officiated by Lt. Gov. Deidre M. Henderson at the Utah State Capitol.

“I am profoundly grateful for the trust placed in me by the state of Utah to continue to act in the capacity as the State Engineer and Director of the Utah Division of Water Rights,” Wilhelmsen said. “ This role is not just a job, but a stewardship – which I take seriously.” 

The State Engineer, who also serves as the Director of the Division of Water Rights, is in charge of the administration and supervision of all waters in the state. In addition, the State Engineer oversees the measurement, appropriation, apportionment and distribution of those waters. 

“I am optimistic about the future and dedicated to serving with integrity, fostering innovation, and working collaboratively to tackle the water-related challenges facing our state,” Wilhelmsen said.

Wilhelmsen received her full senate nomination on Friday, February 23, along with other state officials. Before approval, in her committee hearing, she received unanimous legislative support and prodigious praise from her peers.

“I’ve practiced with each of the last five State Engineers, and each one has had to face more difficult problems than before,” said veteran water law attorney Jody Williams, from Salt Lake City-based firm Holland & Hart. “Ms. Wilhelmsen is truly one of the best. She is hands-on, she’s fearless, and she’s fair.” 

“It’s a rare human that dives into water law the way she has,” said Joel Ferry, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. “I appreciate her breadth of knowledge and her depth of experience. I can’t convey enough how supportive I am to have her continue to serve as the State Engineer.” 

Wilhelmsen was first appointed as Utah State Engineer on March 2, 2020, by former Gov. Gary R. Herbert. She is Utah’s first woman to serve in this capacity.  

Wilhelmsen has worked for the Utah Division of Water Rights for more than 27 years. Her previous roles with the division include assistant state engineer; regional engineer at the Utah Lake and Jordan River Regional Office; and adjudication program manager. Before joining the division, she worked for the Trust Lands Administration. Wilhelmsen is a professional engineer and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in civil engineering.

Media Contact
Audra Sorensen
PIO, Utah Division of Water Rights


About the Utah Division of Water Rights 

The Utah Division of Water Rights is a Utah state government agency within the Department of Natural Resources. The division appropriates and distributes the state’s valuable water resources under the direction of the State Engineer, who also acts as the division’s director.