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New Tucson Water boss, same as the old boss

Tucson Water has a new director, but he is a familiar face in managing Arizona's most vital natural resource. 

Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega selected — and the Tucson City Council approved — hiring John P. Kmiec as director of Tucson Water. 

Kmiec had served as interim director of Tucson Water since January 2021 after being hired as deputy director in 2019. He be paid $180,000 per year to run the department on a permanent basis.

Kmiec is a longtime water leader in Arizona, with a career spanning four decades, managing the resource in the Tucson area and statewide. 

He worked as director of Marana Water from 2012-2019. Kmiec has aided efforts to shape Southern Arizona’s long-term vision and policy relating to sustainable water supply and  quality, officials said.

Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Kmiec to serve on the state's Water Augmentation, Innovation, and Conservation Committee.. Kmiec sits on the Board of Directors for the National WateReuse Association and is a director on the AZWater Association Board.

"Given his extensive experience, John is an outstanding choice to lead our internationally-recognized water utility and an excellent addition to my executive leadership team," Ortega said in a news release. "John is a passionate advocate for recycling and innovative technology, and he will continue to keep Tucson Water on the leading edge of conservation and delivery."

Kmiec said he is "humbled and excited" to take on his new gig full time.

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"We will continue to move forward as national leaders in water resource management and conservation. Our community is our strength and excellent service is our mission. Together, we can ensure a safe and secure water future for all Tucsonans,” Kmiec said.

Tucson Water serves more than 740,000 people in the Tucson basin and has implemented one of the most successful conservation programs in the United States. In 2019, Tucson Water was inducted into the Leading Utilities of the World Network and in 2021 was awarded the U.S. Water Prize for Outstanding Public Sector Organization.

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City of Tucson

New Tucson Water Director John Kmiec.