Salt River Project has named a new head of its water operations.
Leslie Meyers, a veteran in Southwest regional water resources management, was named chief water executive and associate general manager of water resources for Tempe-based SRP, which provides power and water services to thousands of residents and businesses in and around the Valley.
“Water resource management is critical to Arizona, and SRP has been a leader of wise stewardship for more than a century,” she said in a statement. “I’m proud to join an organization dedicated to ensuring a sustainable water future for our communities.”
Meyers comes to SRP from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, where she most recently served as area manager of the Phoenix area office. Her experience in the field spans more than 30 years and includes strategic initiative planning and implementation with federal and state organizations, tribes, irrigation districts, local governments, nongovernmental organizations and others.
She also comes to a job at a time of heightened concern over water supplies in Arizona, which has seen more than two decades of significant drought impacts. Colorado River water supplies are at some of their lowest levels ever, and multiple Valley cities — including Glendale, Mesa and Phoenix — have enacted early-stage water conservation measures. Phoenix has also forfeited water deliveries from the Colorado River to help bolster Lake Mead supplies.
“Leslie Meyers brings a wealth of experience and knowledge at a unique time for our state as Arizonans continue to face this record drought,” SRP General Manager and CEO Mike Hummel said in a statement. “As SRP’s water resiliency remains strong in spite of the drought, Leslie will lead our effort to continue to work with our partners to plan for the current drought and solve long-term water needs for the state.”
She is taking over from Dave Roberts, who is retiring in the fall after 36 years with the company. Roberts will be assisting with the transition of his role and responsibilities.
Hummel said Roberts has played a vital role in the utility’s success through his work managing resources and developing partnerships.
“Dave leaves behind an enduring legacy as he has contributed so much to SRP’s water management and resiliency,” Hummel said. “His leadership has helped SRP remain a reliable provider of this precious resource to the Valley.”
The state’s water supply comprises 41% groundwater, 36% Colorado River water, 18% in-state rivers including the Salt and Verde rivers and 5% reclaimed water, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which says the state uses about 7 million acre-feet of water, or 2.2 trillion gallons per year. Most Colorado River water overall is used for farms.
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