Finance Experts for Historic Water Infrastructure Board

Published by The Bee News

October 3, 2022

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PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced four appointments to a new board charged with overseeing a bold plan to secure Arizona’s water future.

The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority board was established this year with Governor Ducey’s signing of monumental water legislation, which took effect September 24.

“We passed the most significant water legislation in 40 years this year in partnership with our legislative leaders,” said Governor Ducey. “Now, with the right team, we’re positioned with $1.4 billion to secure our state’s water future for the next 100 years. The board members of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority will be important stewards of our water resources, pursuing innovative augmentation and conservation projects. I’m confident that with fresh ideas and diverse backgrounds, representing every corner of our state, we will ensure Arizona remains a land of opportunity for families and businesses. Our appointees have the right skills and experience to position our state for future success.”

The nine-member board, appointed jointly by the Arizona Legislature and Governor Ducey, is responsible for providing loans and grants to water providers and entities for the purposes of importing water into Arizona, conservation, efficiency and reuses, and new technologies.

Through the funds, WIFA will have the ability to acquire, store and sell new imported water as well as engage in private-public partnerships.

The President of the Arizona Senate and the Senate Minority Leader previously announced their respective appointees. Each had one selection. The Speaker of the House and House Minority Leader will make their appointments next, pursuant to the law passed this year.

The governor has one remaining available appointment. The statewide, at-large position will be selected from a list of nominees from the House Speaker and Senate President.

Water security has been a top priority for Governor Ducey. In 2019, he signed the Drought Contingency Plan – a historic plan between Arizona and six other western states to manage and conserve more water from the Colorado River. Most recently, the governor visited Israel – the world’s leader on water technology – to learn more about innovative solutions like desalination. The governor’s May trip was followed by House Speaker Rusty Bowers in August.

The Governor appointed the following individuals to serve on the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority board:

David Beckham from Maricopa County has an extensive background in developing, acquiring and operating real estate projects and operating businesses. David’s expertise includes working with governmental agencies and creating unique financial transactions with some of the largest institutions in the U.S. He has been involved in various capacities related to Arizona water issues for many years. David is a principal in Beckham Gumbin Ventures, a real estate investment firm established in 2011.

Buchanan Davis from Pinal County has an expansive policy background in water issues, agriculture, environment and other natural resources. Buchanan previously served as Senior Director for Municipal County Strategic Initiatives at the University of Arizona, providing strategic direction for University engagement with Arizona communities and stakeholders. He also has experience in the public sector, working for U.S. Senator Jeff Flake and most recently, as Natural Resources policy advisor to Governor Ducey.

Jonathan Lines from Yuma County has deep knowledge of water policy in rural counties. He currently serves on the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and is the Chairman of the Arizona State Fair and Expositions. Jonathan has also served as the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and the Arizona Republican Party Treasurer. Jonathan’s family has been involved in water policy for generations, originally settling in Arizona in the late 1880s.

Andy Tobin from Yavapai Countyhas 15 years of public service. Andy has served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Administration since 2019. Prior to his appointment, he served as a Commissioner on the Arizona Corporation Commission, was a long-time member of the Arizona House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House. Before joining the Arizona Legislature, Director Tobin served as Director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

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