During the boom Las Vegas's appetite for water far outstripped its natural supply and the Southern Nevada Water Authority rose to the challenge, enforcing water reuse and buying rights to secure supply. The difficulty is that water infrastructure has to be planned for decades into the future, whereas the economy moves on a quarter by quarter basis. How has the SNWA coped with the economic downturn, and what are the lessons for other water agencies which need to plan for long term growth, but find the short term experience is the reverse?
Patricia Mulroy oversees the operations of the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The Water Authority is responsible for acquiring, treating and delivering water to local agencies that collectively serve 2 million residents and nearly 40 million annual visitors.