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2020 Articles

Arizonans Unite At CRWUA

The Colorado River Water Users Association is important to Arizonans – one only needs to visit the annual conference’s state caucus breakfast, which is often standing room only, to experience the commitment Arizonans have to the organization, and each other. Arizona water users and others with diverse interests in the Colorado River use this conference as a time to convene and unite focused on this precious water supply.

At the caucus breakfast, we discuss Arizona-specific matters, share successes and visit with individuals from throughout the Grand Canyon State. And during the rest of the conference, we interface with colleagues from throughout the entire Colorado River Basin and Mexico, reinforcing our relationships and advancing necessary and critical water policy to protect the health of this shared resource.

The 2020-2021 CRWUA Arizona Board of Trustees members include Tom Buschatzke, Ted Cooke and Elston Grubaugh. Here are their biographies.

Tom was appointed Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources in January 2015. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Assistant Director of the Department’s Water Planning Division, overseeing the Colorado River Management Section and other planning and permitting units of the Department. As Director, he is responsible for carrying out ADWR’s mission: To protect, conserve, and enhance Arizona’s water supplies, by confronting water management challenges in a bold, thoughtful, and innovative manner. Tom serves as Arizona’s principal negotiator on matters relating to the Colorado River, is the Chairman of the Arizona Water Banking Authority and Co-Chair of the Drought Inter-Agency Coordinating Council and represents the State in Indian water right negotiations. Tom possesses over thirty-nine years of experience in water management and has been a member of several statewide long-term water planning initiatives including serving as Co-Chair of the Statewide Water Resources Development Commission, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability, where he served as Co-Chair of the Regulatory and Permitting Group, and was an active participant in the Statewide Water Advisory Group and Governor’s Drought Task Force. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the State University of New York at Cortland.

Ted was appointed General Manager of the Central Arizona Project in March 2016, reporting to the Board of Directors and responsible for carrying out the Board’s policy directives and overseeing all operational aspects of CAP. Previously, he was Interim General Manager and Deputy General Manager, Finance and Administration. Ted joined CAP in 1999. Ted’s four-decade career in utilities, technology, finance and operations has also included management and executive positions at Xerox Corporation, Luz International Limited, the world’s pioneer commercial-scale solar thermal power plant developer and operator, and OESI Power Corporation, a developer and operator of binary geothermal power projects in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Ted serves on the Arizona Governor’s Water Augmentation, Innovation and Conservation Council and the Advisory Boards of the Arizona State University Kyl Center for Water Policy and the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center. Ted is currently the Executive Chair of the Water Utility Climate Alliance and the co-chair of the Arizona Reconsultation Committee.

Elston Grubaugh joined the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District in July 2008 and assumed the duties of General Manager on January 1, 2009. A native of New Mexico, Elston has worked in the water and power areas for over 40 years, holding positions in Texas, New Mexico, California, and Arizona. Elston holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering from New Mexico State University and a Masters’ Degree from Texas A&M University. Mr. Grubaugh is a member of the Yuma County Flood Control Advisory Board and serves as Chair of the Gila Gravity Main Canal Administrative Board. Mr. Grubaugh serves as Vice-President of the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association of Arizona and is the past President of the Arizona Municipal Power Users Association. Elston is on the Board of Tri-Valley Ambulance, a 501(c)(3) organization serving Eastern Yuma County.