Why L.A. needs the “wicked witch” of Nevada

Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Pat Mulroy is retiring at just the moment that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power most needs her skills at outdoor water conservation. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti should lure her to California.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

A new report from the NRDC is reminiscent of a Soviet-style Southern Nevada children's book praising Las Vegas water manager Pat Mulroy.

Publication this week of “Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning” by the Natural Resources Defense Council offers a good example of what happens when lobbyists are charged with assessing the very policy that they had a hand in developing. Las Vegas water manager Pat Mulroy becomes a climate hero and California becomes a nationwide leader in climate-ready water policy, a ranking prominently reported today in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lest anyone mistake skepticism about the NRDC report as an endorsement of climate change denial, let it be said up front: Climate change is fact. What prompts this post isn’t any difference of opinion with the NRDC about the utter urgency of climate change preparedness, or even any over-arching

To be fair

A friend of mine once summed up his bitching about an enemy by laughingly declaring, “I talked her down so bad that I made her look good.”

Today in Las Vegas City Life, investigative reporter and columnist George Knapp talks down Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Pat Mulroy so bad that he makes her look good. For years now, Knapp has been the most consistent, the most outspoken critic of Mulroy’s plans for a 300-mile-long pipeline into Nevada’s Great Basin. Usually his reporting is good. It’s always rollicking. It is has been widely reported, for instance, including by Knapp, that a new study on the cost of the pipeline suggests that the ultimate price far exceeds earlier projections, that instead of $3bn it might cost $7.3bn, or even $15bn including financing.

This would buy a lot of conservation or water trades.

But is it by extension a

Las Vegas pipeline loses its water

The 2007 award by the Nevada State Engineer of 40,000 acre feet of water a year to Las Vegas from Spring Valley in White Pine County, Nevada, pictured above, will be voided as part of the Nevada Supreme Court decision finding that the due process rights of the protestors were violated.

In a stunning reversal for Las Vegas water manager Patricia Mulroy, ground-water awards that were to fill an almost 300-mile-long pipeline planned by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to run from central eastern Nevada to Las Vegas were invalidated today. In an unanimous decision, the Nevada Supreme Court decided that the State Engineer violated the due process rights of hundreds, if not thousands, of people in target valleys across the Great Basin who had long protested the pipeline and water withdrawals.

February 2, 2010 update: see appended correction.

Whiskey’s for drinking at CBS

Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting

No sooner has Lesley Stahl snapped shut her dictionary of Twain quotes* used in the recent CBS show “60 Minutes” on the California water crisis as it’s been opened again to the same page — this time by the network’s Atlanta-based reporter Mark Strassmann for a CBS Evening News broadcast.

This time one of the figures driving the network to drinking cliches is the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s general manager Pat Mulroy, who will appear on CBS Evening News tonight to discuss American water shortages, including those of her agency covering Las Vegas. Those who don’t buy that serving unfettered development in the Mojave Desert qualifies her as a conservationist may need to start drinking now. To see how heavily, click here.

*See the Albuquerque Journal’s John Fleck at Inkstain on the veracity of the Twain attribution. This post

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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