Native Nevadan chosen to lead US Bureau of Reclamation, a key agency for water issues

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CARSON CITY — President Joe Biden has nominated longtime water policy adviser Camille Touton to lead the agency that oversees water and power in the U.S. West.

Touton is a native of Nevada and previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for water and science in the Interior Department under the Obama administration.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner will be a central figure in negotiations among several states over the future of the Colorado River.

Drought, climate change and demand have diminished the river that supplies 40 million people. The agency is expected to mandate cuts for the first time in 2022.

On Wednesday, the bureau announced that Carly Jerla will lead the Department of the Interior’s efforts, as a senior water resources program manager, to develop updated operating rules for Colorado River reservoirs.

The Colorado River sustains ecosystems and economies across the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. A number of operating rules and agreements within the United States and with the Republic of Mexico expire at the end of 2025.

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