Valley Partnership CEO/President Cheryl Lombard and Lisa Atkins, Arizona State Land Commissioner and Valley Partnership board member, have
been appointed to the newly-formed Water Augmentation Council by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The council was identified as part of Gov. Ducey’s Water Initiative to ensure the certainty
and vitality of Arizona’s future water supplies. The council includes water resources experts,
watershed groups, local government and industry leaders in Arizona agriculture, mining, and
The council is tasked with investigating long-term water augmentation strategies,
additional water conservation opportunities, and funding and infrastructure needs to help
secure water supplies for Arizona’s future. The council will provide on an annual basis, a
report to the governor that describes the activities and the recommendations of the council.
The council will also consider a communication plan for the state to accurately convey the
status of Arizona’s water supply resiliency and its efforts to maintain that status moving
forward. Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke will serve as
chairman. ADWR will provide staffing and technical support.
“Water issues are a top concern for all Arizonans. As a state, we have been prudent in
water planning thus far, but need to ensure our water programs stay well-funded and we
stay ahead of the curve on water conservation issues,” said Lombard. “We need to be
prepared as the drought continues in the Western U.S. The formation of this council is just
one of many steps the Governor is taking to ensure that preparedness. I’m honored by this
appointment and look forward to working with the council to safeguard the future of
Arizona’s water supply.”
Ms. Lombard brings a unique perspective to the council. Prior to her position with Valley
Partnership, she was the Government Relations Director for The Nature Conservancy in
Arizona. Her work in this role has given her significant experience working on pragmatic
solutions to conservation challenges like that of Arizona’s water supply. In addition to her
previous work with The Nature Conservancy, Ms. Lombard has also served as a member of
the Department of Water Resources Director’s Advisory Group, Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality Director’s Advisory Group and the Colorado River Advisory
Commission for Arizona.
Arizona’s Water Initiative is based on and advances the activities identified in the 2014
Strategic Vision for Water Supply Sustainability Report, which identified key priorities,
timelines and action items needed to maintain sustainable water supplies for Arizona’s
future. In addition to the creation of the governor’s Water Augmentation Council, the Water
Initiative includes a process to prioritize the 22 planning areas identified in the Strategic
Vision Report, beginning with rural areas.