Welcome, Vineetha Kartha – CAP Colorado River Programs manager

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Vineetha Kartha CAP Colorado-River Programs Manager

Vineetha Kartha, CAP’s new Colorado River Programs manager, is already a familiar face to many involved in Arizona water issues. And, in her new role, you’ll likely be seeing her more and more – most notably, presenting the infamous “bucket chart” that shows the current Colorado River supply at our CAWCD Board meetings each month.

Take some time to get to know a bit more about this woman who’s taken on such an important role for CAP!

In a nutshell, what will you be doing for CAP?

I manage the group that provides support to other staff members, management and the CAWCD Board of Directors on policy issues related to Colorado River water supplies.

As the Colorado River Programs manager, I’ll be working with my team to help develop and implement strategic planning efforts and projects protecting and enhancing CAP’s interests in Colorado River water supplies. That means coordinating and participating at the local, regional, state, federal and binational level to protect and enhance CAP’s Colorado River water supply.  

We also develop technical, statistical and other management and legislative analyses in support of CAP’s Colorado River activities and programs. And we play a key role in policy analysis and the development of strategic initiatives regarding Colorado River reliability, with particular emphasis on climate and the impact of climate change on Colorado River supplies.  

In addition, we also represent CAP’s interest in the Multi-Species Conservation Program and binational cooperative effort and augmentation, which could include desalination opportunities in the Yuma area, Mexico and California.

What drew you to CAP?

CAP is an engineering feat, and at 336 miles, much longer than the legendary Panama and Suez Canals. As a child I have sailed through both Panama and Suez with my father who was the chief engineer responsible for the engineering operations of crude oil tankers or bulk carriers.  While the Panama and Suez serve as major transportation corridors, the CAP is one of the most vital pieces of infrastructure that allows Arizona to thrive.

I am unequivocally and irrevocably in love with Arizona, and it is an honor for me to work for an agency that is such an important part of ensuring the vitality and success of the state. In short, it is my love for Arizona and also my attraction toward major engineering structures that drew me to work for CAP.

How did you get into this line of work?

Back in 2002 or 2003, I took a weekend Colorado River course under current CAWCD Board Member Jim Holway. It was part of my graduate program at ASU. I was hooked on Colorado River right then and there. And then a few years later, I jumped at the opportunity to join the Arizona Department of Water Resources as their environmental planner. Since then, I have learned that sound water management policies are key to the success of any state, country or region. I have keenly followed the innovative ways of water management in Singapore, Australia and Israel for a while now. The ingenuity and resilience these countries have demonstrated are admirable. I am hoping CAP can continue to cut new paths in water management policies, especially in the face of this long-standing drought.

What motivates you to “do what you do”?

I like to imagine that the little I am able to do, is my small way of giving back to Arizona and the United States as a whole. I am deeply indebted to everything Arizona has provided for me and I am willing to work my hardest to give back to the state. 

How do you like to spend your spare time?

I like to hike, run and spend time with my family. I am trained in classical dance, but I am on a break and haven’t danced professionally in a long time.