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Water flowing through the Walker River in August 2019. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Acting State Engineer Tim Wilson will take on the role in an official capacity, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced on Thursday. 

The official appointment fills a position at the center of several ongoing legal fights over water use across the state. As Nevada’s top water regulator, Wilson will continue being responsible for managing disputes over existing water rights, weighing applications for new water rights and reviewing dams. The state engineer also reviews subdivision maps and licenses well drillers.

Wilson has worked for the department since 1995 and previously served as the deputy state engineer. In a statement, Brad Crowell, who leads the natural resources department, said that Wilson’s “leadership will play a vital role in the state’s capacity to solve complex water challenges, while ensuring a sustainable water future for all Nevadans.”

“As both the driest state and one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, coupled with the current realities and impending risks our state faces from climate change, Nevada’s state engineer plays a pivotal role in advancing an innovative and forward-looking management of our limited water resources in all corners of our great state,” Crowell said.  

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