Building water resilience is the single biggest challenge in a changing global climate
The United States faces a water crisis as critical as the energy crisis that once dominated headlines. Like the energy crisis, a solution can be found. Pat Mulroy, for many years general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the lead negotiator on the Colorado River for the State of Nevada, and a Brookings fellow, has gathered a number of practitioners and scholars to show us why we face a crisis caused by climate change and what we can do to alleviate it.
While the focus has been on California recently, with its water restrictions and drought, many other parts of the United States are also suffering from current and potential water shortages that will only be exacerbated by climate change. The Water Problem takes us to Miami and the problem of rising oceans fouling freshwater reservoirs; Kansas and Nebraska, where intensive farming is draining age-old aquifers; and to the Southwest United States, where growing populations are creating enormous stresses on the already strained Colorado River.
Mulroy and her contributors explore not just the problems, but also what we can do now to put in place measures to deal with a very real crisis.
Margaret Weir, Nancy Pindus, Howard Wial, Harold Wolman
February 2, 2012
Pat Mulroy is a Brookings nonresident senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program located at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. She also serves as the senior faculty advisor for water resources and technology at the Desert Research Institute. For twenty-five years Mulroy served as the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, shepherding the creation of the agency that, through revolutionary water management changes and aggressive water conservation programs, allowed the region to triple in size during her tenure.