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Brenda Burman begins as new Central Arizona Project general manager amid historic water cuts

Published: Monday, January 9, 2023 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, January 9, 2023 - 9:17am
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Central Arizona Project
Brenda Burman

The Central Arizona Project, which delivers water from the Colorado River to nearly 6 million Arizonans, has a new general manager. Brenda Burman begins leading the agency this week. The change in leadership comes as the state faces unprecedented cuts to water supply.

Severe, prolonged drought means the federal government is cutting Arizona’s Colorado River water supply about 21% this year.

Burman told KJZZ News she hopes to work collaboratively with the state and its water stakeholders. She said she’s optimistic to see Arizona agricultural and municipal water users investing more in efficiency strategies.

“That’s an important step, but there’s going to be very difficult decisions in 2023," Burman said. 

Burman said Arizona has been planning for years for the Tier 2A shortage which took effect this month. She said her most important responsibility will be helping the state prepare for an uncertain water future beyond this year. 

“Uncertainty is a very big challenge," Burman said. "That’s uncertainty on a regulatory level, that’s uncertainty about the infrastructure of Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam, but it’s still uncertainty about Mother Nature.”

Burman previously served as CAP’s executive strategy advisor. She has also worked with the Nature Conservancy and Salt River Project. She is replacing retiring general manager Ted Cooke.

→ Every Last Drop: Tackling big questions about Arizona's water future