H2O "Rockstar" Says It's Time to Rethink Water

Oct 15, 2012

Las Vegas Valley Water District head Pat Mulroy casts the country's water challenges in the context of what the arid southwest is dealing with.

Several hundred influential people in the field of fresh water were in Milwaukee last week – as the Milwaukee Water Council hosted its 6th annual summit.  The gathering attracted attendees from around the world, including one Las Vegas woman dubbed "the rockstar of water."

Southern Nevada Water Authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District general manager Pat Mulroy talked last week at Water Summit 2012 in Milwaukee.
Credit Susan Bence

Pat Mulroy is general manager of not only the Las Vegas Valley Water District but also the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

That state's water situation couldn't be more different than that of our water-rich region. Nevada shares the Colorado River with six neighboring states.  Yet there is a key similarity.

Like the Great Lakes region recently, the southwest struck a water-sharing compact - in 1922.  But Mulroy says it wasn't really tested until climate change and droughts with "no end in sight" struck the region.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence sat down with Mulroy during a break in the summit proceedings.

Mulroy says no matter the state of their particular watershed, cities around the country face an almost universal challenge – how to effectively handle aging and often under-equipped infrastructure.