Friday, January 16, 2009

An editorial by Geoff Schumacher in the Review Journal (Las Vegas): …Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada do battle on practically a daily basis over the merits of the rural water pipeline project. Mulroy is the leading advocate of securing a second water source for Las Vegas, while PLAN is working to defeat the project.

But this week, it was interesting to see that Mulroy and PLAN made some provocative statements that had little to do with the rural pipeline. And they both made a lot of sense and deserve credit for sticking their necks out. As part of a panel discussion sponsored by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Mulroy outlined dire climate change scenarios and blasted federal leaders for not acting more aggressively to deal with the potential effects.

"We have not spent any time in this country investing in the science of climate change in any kind of concerted action," she told an audience of several hundred. "We have not spent time talking about how we are going to adapt."

Mulroy predicted severe water shortages in Southern California and Southern Nevada if the Southwestern drought, which started in 2002, persists for a few more years. She said this drought and other climate change effects could "wipe out whole economies." Tapping Mississippi River floodwaters to quench thirsty Western cities was among her creative ideas.

Mulroy is exactly right on our lack of action. Climate change is real and serious. Perhaps Mulroy's pointed comments will serve as a catalyst to get Washington moving on this issue....

The Mississippi River, looking south toward the city of St. Louis from near the confluence with the Missouri River; showing the Interstate 270 Bridge, the old Chain of Rocks Bridge (which once carried Route 66), city water intake towers, a low water dam (dam 27) and the St. Louis waterworks. The Chain of Rocks Canal bypasses this section of the river. There are no dams on the river between dam 26 and the Gulf of Mexico. That may change if the parched states of the southwest get thirsty enough.