New Nevada Water Panel Member, Negotiator Named

Gov. Jim Gibbons decided Tuesday against reappointing Richard Bunker to Nevada's Colorado River Commission, but named Bunker as a special negotiator to deal with Utah on water issues.

Bunker, who had chaired the commission, was replaced by Las Vegas lawyer George Ogilvie III. The chairmanship went to Jacob Bingham, who had been serving as the commission's vice chairman.

Gibbons stated that Bunker, a CRC member for 15 years, has
"invaluable" experience needed for negotiations with Utah over Colorado River water.

Bunker said he'd do his best to ensure the state reaches a fair agreement with Utah, and that he's "happy to lend my efforts to the commission in a new capacity."

The Colorado River Commission manages Nevada's water and hydroelectric power resources from the Colorado River. Six other states and the federal government share in the management of the river basin.

Nevada and Utah are involved in negotiations on an agreement for water that either state can divert from a shared basin. The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to pump water from Snake Valley, on the Nevada-Utah border, to booming Las Vegas and that plan depends upon the agreement.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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