In a May 7th ceremony in Washington, D.C., Central Arizona Project Board member Carol Zimmerman accepted a "Partners in Conservation Award" from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Ms. Zimmerman, who is serving her second term as one of Pima County's elected representatives to the CAP Board of Directors, attended the ceremony on behalf of the 15-member Board.
The prestigious Partners in Conservation Award is given each year by the Secretary of the Interior in recognition of significant efforts by individuals or agencies to promote conservation of natural resources. CAP was recognized for its role in crafting guidelines to manage potential shortages on the Colorado River in collaboration with the seven states that share the River, the Bureau of Reclamation and a diverse group of regional and national conservation organizations.
"It is a great honor to accept this award on behalf of the Central Arizona Project and the 5 million people we serve," Ms. Zimmerman stated after the ceremony. "The Colorado River Interim Shortage Sharing Guidelines are the culmination of many, many months of meetings to build a consensus among those who share the River. During the development process, CAP worked diligently to ensure that the interests of Central and Southern Arizona were well-represented while also recognizing the water requirements of our partners and the environment."
The Guidelines will help assure that the Colorado River is operated in a manner that minimizes the potential for shortages in Arizona, California, and Nevada, and avoids the risk of curtailment in the Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Some of the measures to be taken include enhanced conservation, coordinated operation of Lakes Mead and Powell, and increased flexibility in the management of river resources.
CAP is the steward of central Arizona's Colorado River water entitlement and a collaborative leader in Arizona's water community. The 336-mile-long CAP system brings about 1.5 million acre-feet of renewable Colorado River water to its customers -- cities, businesses, agriculture and Indian communities -- in Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. An acre-foot of water is about 326,000 gallons.