John Entsminger named to replace Pat Mulroy at the Southern Nevada Water Authority #ColoradoRiver

Upper Basin States vs. Lower Basin circa 1925 via CSU Water Resources Archives
Upper Basin States vs. Lower Basin circa 1925 via CSU Water Resources Archives

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Henry Brean):

John Entsminger, current deputy general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, will take over the top job at the valley’s largest water utility when Mulroy departs on Feb. 6.

The commission’s vote sets the stage for Entsminger, 42, to also take her place as general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the region’s wholesale water supplier.

“I think the board did the right thing,” Mulroy said Tuesday morning. “This is a very difficult time on the (Colorado) River. John understands the complexities. I think John will do a fantastic job.”

Entsminger went to work for the water district and the authority straight out of law school at the University of Colorado in June 1999. He was eventually promoted to deputy general counsel for both agencies, and he served as lead negotiator on a series of national and international agreements that secured more water for Nevada from the Colorado River.

Mulroy named him to her executive team as deputy general manager in early 2010. When she announced her retirement last year, she quickly identified him as the best choice to replace her.

Entsminger sees his selection for the top job as an endorsement of the good work the district and the authority have done over the past two decades, especially on the Colorado, where he believes Southern Nevada has gained more at the negotiating table than any other region.

“I’m honored by the trust the board is placing in me,” he said.

Asked how his approach to water policy might differ from Mulroy’s, he said: “Philosophically Pat and I are very much aligned. The question going forward is which projects do we need to secure the water supply for the community.”

From the Las Vegas Sun (Conor Shine):

Fifteen years after he was hired out of law school to join the Las Vegas Valley Water District’s legal department, John Entsminger has been chosen to take the agency’s top job, replacing Pat Mulroy, who will retire next month after 25 years as general manager.

Entsminger, a senior deputy general manager at the district since 2010, was the lone candidate to replace Mulroy. Since announcing her retirement in September, Mulroy had openly endorsed Entsminger as her preferred successor…

Entsminger’s hiring won’t be final until terms of a contract are negotiated and approved by the board. The board must also ratify its appointment at a meeting later this month due to procedural concerns about whether the meeting was properly noticed to the public.

A separate vote is scheduled Jan. 16 to confirm Entsminger as general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Water District’s parent organization. The two agencies are separate entities with their own staffs, budgets and governance, but Mulroy has held the top job at both since the SNWA was formed in 1999, a practice that is expected to continue with Entsminger…

Entsminger joined the Water District’s legal department in 1999 after graduating from the University of Colorado Law School and has spent his entire career with the district. His early work covered everything from human resources to purchasing contracts. Eventually he found himself dealing with complex Colorado River water laws.

He continued to ascend through the agency, working on a landmark 2007 water shortage agreement brokered among Colorado River states and serving as one of the lead negotiators in a water-sharing treaty with Mexico signed in 2012.

Entsminger will take over the Water District and Water Authority at a time when the role of the agencies is changing. With the valley’s water infrastructure nearly complete, minus the under-construction third intake straw at Lake Mead, their focus will shift from construction and expansion toward managing a shrinking supply of water from the Colorado River.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

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