Turbulent Waters: Brokering a Secure World


Jan. 29, 2016, 9am to 3:30pm

Campus Location



Turbulent Waters: Brokering a Secure World A Conference on Water Law

The year 2015 was one in which the challenges of water resiliency became crystallized around the world. The 2015 Report issued by the World Economic Forum identified water as the greatest risk factor facing the world’s societies and in Paris the discussions around adapting to the consequences of climate change loomed large. Closer to home, California and Nevada struggled with the impacts of a record breaking drought in the Sierras and the Great Basin while simultaneously joining their neighbors on the Colorado River to develop new strategies to ward off the worst of futures for that drought plagued system. Western Governors brought their states together to chart new water futures in the face of great uncertainty, while at the national level the deliberations centered around the implications such global uncertainty has on national security. At the same time Nevada and all its neighbors are charting new economic futures as they emerge from the disastrous economic downturn of the last decade.

As we enter 2016, the UNLV Boyd School of Law, the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution and the Desert Research Institute in collaboration with the Brookings Institution are sponsoring a water policy conference to examine the complexities of climate, water security, national security and economic viability.

The conference is scheduled to take place on January 29, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A dinner with Conrad Weaver, director and producer of Thirsty Land, will precede the conference on January 28.


Opening Welcome and Overview

  • Dan Hamilton, dean, Boyd Law School
  • Pat Mulroy, senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy, Brookings Institution/Boyd Law School

The Latest Assumptions in the West’s Climate Future

  • Kelly Redmond, research professor of climatology, Desert Research Institute

Panel Discussion: Using Climate Science in Water Planning

Moderator: Pat Mulroy, senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy, Brookings Institution/Boyd Law School

  • Terry Fulp, regional director, Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region
  • Leo Drozdoff, director, Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Thomas Piechota, vice president for economic outreach and development, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Water as an Essential Concern in National Security

  • Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow, Brookings Institution

Luncheon Keynote:  Innovative Partnerships-The Key to Improved Resource Management and Resilience

  • Michael Connor, deputy secretary of interior, U.S. Department of the Interior

Presentation:  Role of water security in Economic Development

  • Tom Skancke, former CEO, Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance

Panel Discussion:  Is Nevada prepared for 21st century?

Moderator: Nate Allen, executive director, Nevada Center of Excellence

  • John Entsminger, general manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Mark Foree, general manager, Truckee Meadows Water Authority
  • Bret Birdsong, deputy solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior/Professor of Law, Boyd Law School                                                                     

Closing Remarks

  • Steve Hill, executive director, Governor’s Office of Economic Development


Dinner - January 28:  $100

Conference - January 29:  $100

Admission Information

To register for the conference and/or the dinner, pease visit the Boyd School of Law event registration webpage.

For more information, please contact Nakia Jackson-Hale at nakia.jackson-hale@unlv.edu.

Contact Information

Boyd Law School
Nakia Jackson-Hale

External Sponsor

The Boyd Law School