Pat Mulroy, Senior Fellow, Brookings Mountain West, July 1, 2014
Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy
Three years of hot summers and winters lacking adequate snowfall are taking their toll on Dwayne Combs and other ranchers trying to make a living from the Nevada’s already dry landscape. Reservoirs in Nevada are also at dangerously low levels thanks to three years of drought. "In rural California, they have 50 percent to 60 percent unemployment," Pat Mulroy, senior fellow of climate adaptation and environmental policy at Brookings Mountain West told KNPR. "The magnitude of that lack of water resources becomes profound. For Nevada it is the same thing."
Mulroy, who also holds the Maki Distinguished Faculty Associate position at the Desert Research Institute, urged Nevada to develop "some real water strategies" to protect ranchers and urban areas. "I don’t think we have a choice," Mulroy said. "We have to balance the needs of agriculture and urban communities." Mulroy also congratulated Las Vegas for its conservation efforts.
"We don’t talk about our net footprint because we recycle everything," Mulroy said. "For the driest city in the United States to have a net footprint residentially of 75 gallons per person, per-day is phenomenal."