Patricia Mulroy

Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy, Boyd School of Law
Practitioner in Residence, Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the Boyd School of Law
Expertise: Water resources policy, Colorado River Basin resources, Water resource technology


A leader in the international water community for more than 25 years, Pat Mulroy serves as a Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy and also as a Practitioner in Residence for the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.  She also holds a faculty position at the Desert Research Institute, where she serves as the Maki Distinguished Faculty Associate. Mulroy also serves on the Wynn Resorts Ltd Board of Directors.

Between 1989 and early 2014, Pat Mulroy served as General Manager of both the Las Vegas Valley Water District, a municipal purveyor serving more than 350,000 accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), the regional agency responsible for acquiring, treating and delivering water to two million Southern Nevadans and 40 million annual visitors. Mulroy was a principal architect of the SNWA, helping to guide Southern Nevada through an unprecedented period of growth and one of the worst droughts in the history of the Colorado River.

As general manager of one of the country’s most progressive water agencies, Mulroy was exceptionally active in regional and national water issues, a passion she brings to her current role. During her long tenure, she lead Nevada’s delegation in the negotiation of numerous agreements with neighboring Colorado River Basin States and the country of Mexico. Her reach in the water community extends far beyond the desert Southwest.  She currently serves as a member emeritus of the Water Research Foundation Board of Trustees. She previously was on the board of the National Water Resources Association and was a member of the American Water Works Association. Additionally, she was the original chairperson of the Western Urban Water Coalition, is immediate past president of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and has served on the Colorado River Water Users Association’s board of directors.

At UNLV’s Boyd School of Law and DRI, Mulroy’s focus is on helping communities in water-stressed areas throughout both the American Southwest and the world develop strategies to address increased water resource volatility and identify solutions that balance the needs of all stakeholders. In her faculty role at DRI, Mulroy also will explore the role of technology in optimizing the use of water resources.



  • Doctoral Studies, Stanford University
  • MA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • BA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Patricia Mulroy In The News

June 5, 2020
On May 21, during an otherwise business-as-usual meeting, the Southern Nevada Water Authority board of directors voted to indefinitely defer its groundwater development project, which opponents had dubbed the “water grab.”
October 30, 2019
We use it day in and day out in our homes, but how much do we really know about water? Are we really running out? Kevin O’Connor speaks with author Charles Fishman (“The Big Thirst”), uncovering surprising facts about all things water. Las Vegas and Orlando show us who’s boss in the water conservation game, and This Old House plumber Richard Trethewey solves a water mystery. Water is too cheap and it’s the ultimate recyclable in need of a revolution. (via This Old House)
The Colorado Sun
April 10, 2019
The diverse, yet unified, politicians from seven states hailing this week’s swift passage of legislation supporting the installation of drought contingency plans to protect the Colorado River have taken the first step in what promises to be a long and painful process.
Voice of San Diego
April 8, 2019
An increasing number of solutions to California and Arizona’s long-term water problems now involve Mexico.

Articles Featuring Patricia Mulroy

Lake Mead
Business and Community | July 19, 2016
Why two Saltman Center experts say mediation is key to resolving the water woes of the American West.
Lake Mead
Research | February 10, 2016
As water leaders contend with unprecedented drought and demand, will the river people of the Colorado band together as regional citizens? Water policy expert Patricia Mulroy weighs in.
People | July 6, 2011
Pat Mulroy's UNLV education launched a unique career. Now she hopes opportunities don't dry up for Nevadans just beginning their careers.