Will Election Day divert Colorado River talks?

By Jennifer Yachnin | 06/06/2024 04:36 PM EDT

One key negotiator said Thursday that the focus is on the long term, not who is in the White House.

A boat floats past bathtub rings showing how low Lake Powell levels have dropped

A boat in June 2022 floating past the bathtub rings that show the decrease in water in Lake Powell in Arizona. Brittany Peterson/AP

BOULDER, Colorado — Amid the debate over how to account for water shared by 40 million people, a top Nevada official asserted Thursday there is at least one point that is unlikely to trigger any new divisions: Election Day.

President Joe Biden is headed toward a November rematch with former President Donald Trump — setting up a potential change of party control in the White House, or, alternately, shifts in executive branch agency leadership that would likely accompany a second Biden term.

John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said Thursday that Colorado River negotiators are focused on the long term, regardless of who is in the White House.


“We want to keep our hands on the steering wheel, and whatever the rules of the road are come Jan. 1, 2027, we want to be the ones that implement those,” Entsminger said at the University of Colorado’s annual Colorado Law Conference on Natural Resources.