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The Water Czar of Las Vegas

Patricia Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority stated the following, when criticized for allowing development to grow despite the fears of Lake Mead drying up and the impending water shortages…

"You’re going to have water problems resulting from climate change whether you’re in a water-scarce area or one that’s going to get more water. It doesn’t matter. The consequences of climate change – whether drought, flooding, or water contamination caused by rising ocean levels- will force us to adapt to a different way of managing water resources. There’s no silver bullet. Are we accommodating people that come to southern Nevada? Yes. But they have to be accommodated somewhere."

On Dry Land

302279753_3ebb3d8c78_mAnd when asked whether she is "just an enabler for development", she responded…

We’re not enabling development: we’re protecting the community and the economy of the state of Nevada. That is what we are protecting. Economies grow; babies are born. California no longer grows from in-migration. It grows in and of itself now. Births exceed deaths. The no-growthers don’t have a solution for how you grow. How do you stop growth? And a relationship with developers has been critical because we’ve been able to get them to dramatically change how they build. A relationship with the gaming community has brought about huge reductions.

The Las Vegas strip gets flogged all the time. It uses only three percent of the water. People are coming to this country. We have a global population explosion. To simply push the problem off on someone else isn’t going to solve it. These people are going to use natural resources whether here or somewhere else. The issues will be different, but the complexities won’t be any less intricate.

This is such NIMBYism!

Amen to that.

Climate change is a reality, but so are the people who are migrating around the country and globe, for amenity, retirement, environmental reasons – Las Vegas is no saint when it comes to water consumption, but there are massive social problems that run deeper than water.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.