Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Forward thinking for water agencies

I read with interest the Sun’s Friday story “New water czar ready to be proactive about drought.”

I am among those voices in the wilderness who called for the governing boards for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority to institute a radical culture change in these organizations by conducting an open recruitment and selection process for the new general manager. Predictably, it fell on deaf ears.

These organizations are desperately in need of accountability and transparency, and we can only hope that with increased scrutiny from the boards, John Entsminger will lead them to be true public trust agencies. I am disheartened, however, that like his predecessor, Pat Mulroy, Entsminger is prone to pronouncing absolutes when confronted with difficult issues, as if invoking some form of infallibility.

Entsminger says in the Sun article that he will not entertain the renegotiation of the Colorado River Compact because it would be too politically difficult. Is he saying that an agreement based on faulty data — whose basis was largely set in stone in the 1920s before there was a Lake Mead or Las Vegas metropolis, and before the impact of climate disruption from human activities was evident — is not in need of a major revamp?

We need forward, creative thinking to lead us in addressing the future prospects of drought and a declining Colorado River, not arrogance and blind adherence to old thinking and the past. If the prospect of having to lead the way through new territory is too frightening and tough for Entsminger, perhaps he needs to reconsider his future.

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