The United States faces a water crisis as critical as the energy crisis that dominated headlines until recently. Like the energy crisis, a solution can be found. Pat Mulroy, for many years the head of the Colorado River water commission and now a Brookings fellow, has gathered together a number of practitioners and scholars to show us why we face a crisis and what we can do to help alleviate it.While the focus has been on California recently with its water restrictions and drought, the 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 and urban environments are putting unsustainable stresses on the 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.
Patricia Mulroy is a non-resident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program. In addition, she serves as the senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at UNLV's Brookings Mountain West. Mulroy has accumulated decades of experience in water resource management. She previously served as the general manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Mulroy also serves as the program lead for water resources and technology at the Desert Research Institute. She is a founding chair of the Western Urban Water Coalition, and she was a founding member of the Water Utility Climate Alliance. She served on the Board of Directors for the National Water Resources Association and with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies first as Treasurer (2009-2011) and then as President (2011-2013).