Upcoming Event

Tackling the ‘Water Problem’: Challenges facing U.S. regulation, sustainability, and global geopolitics

Climate impacts on water are felt at every corner of the globe. From drought in California and a shrinking Colorado River to limited access to safe and clean drinking water in emerging economies, concerns about water are increasingly urgent. Addressing the water crisis facing the United States and other nations requires innovative, bipartisan ideas for how to alleviate water challenges, bolster resource security, and foster sustainable economic growth.

On March 28, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate and the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will host a half-day conference on key issues in water policy. This event celebrates the launch of the new Brookings Press book The Water Problem: Climate Change and Water Policy in the United States, edited by UNLV/Brookings Senior Fellow Pat Mulroy.

Following an opening keynote conversation from former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, Mulroy will moderate a panel discussion on domestic water infrastructure and regulatory reform. A second panel of experts will analyze issues facing global water security, economics, and geopolitics, including regional dynamics in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and China. Near the end of each panel, moderators will open up to audience Q&A.


Welcome and introduction

Keynote address

A conversation with former U.S. Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt

Bruce Babbitt

Former Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. water infrastructure and regulatory reform

Bret Birdsong

Professor of Law - William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV


Roger K. Patterson

Assistant General Manager, Strategic Water Initiatives - Metropolitan Water District of Southern California


Jennifer Pitt

Director, Colorado River Project - National Audubon Society

Global water security, economics, and geopolitics


Kumud Acharya

Ecological Engineering Program Director - Desert Research Institute

Betsy Otto

Global Director, Water Program - World Resources Institute

More Information

Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings