Tom Buschatzke, Chair

Tom Buschatzke
Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources

Tom Buschatzke was appointed Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources in January 2015.  Prior to this appointment he served as the Assistant Director of the Department’s Water Planning Division, overseeing the Colorado River Management, Active Management Areas, Planning and Data Management, Assured and Adequate Water Supply and Recharge Permitting, and Statewide Planning programs and Tribal Liaison.  He is responsible for multiple planning and policy, regulatory and permitting programs for the management of the state's water supplies.

Director Buschatzke serves as Arizona’s principal negotiator on matters relating to the Colorado River, is the Chairman of the Arizona Water Banking Authority and Co-Chair of the Drought Inter-Agency Coordinating Council and represents the State in Indian water right negotiations.

Director Buschatzke possesses over thirty years of experience in water management and has been a member of several statewide long-term water planning initiatives including serving as Co-Chair of the Statewide Water Resources Development Commission, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability where he served as Co-Chair of the Regulatory and Permitting Group and was an active participant in the Statewide Water Advisory Group and Governor’s Drought Task Force. 

During his twenty-four year tenure with the City of Phoenix, he served as the Water Resources Management Advisor and was responsible for policy development for management of the City’s water resources and worked with directly with the City’s executive staff, the City Manager, the Mayor, and with members of the City Council on a variety of water issues.  He began his career with the City in 1988 as a Hydrologist in the Law Department where he provided assistance to City management and attorneys on issues relating to the City’s water rights, water use and water supply.

In addition, he has been on the Board of Directors of the Western Urban Water Coalition and served as Chair of their Endangered Species Act Committee.  He was previously a Commissioner on the Arizona Water Banking Authority and the Arizona Water Protection Fund. 

Previously he served on the External Advisory Committees of the University of Arizona’s Water Sustainability Program and Water Resources Research Center and the Decision Center for A Desert City at Arizona State University.  He has been a member of the Colorado River Water User’s Association; American Water Resources Association; and the American Water Works Association.

Director Buschatzke’s career in Arizona water resources began with a 1982 Arizona Department of Water Resources internship in the Phoenix Active Management Area and he ultimately became a Program Manager in the Adjudications Division.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the State University of New York at Cortland.