| Pat Mulroy to champion water sustainability adaptations in ACE24 keynote address
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Pat Mulroy to champion water sustainability adaptations in ACE24 keynote address

Pat Mulroy, a renowned leader and innovator in water management and policy, will deliver the keynote address at the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) annual conference in Anaheim, California, in June.

Pat MuloryDuring the Opening General Session at the 2024 Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE24), Mulroy will address the changing role of the water professional and emphasize how critical this evolution will be for the well-being of communities and economies, especially in the context of climate change. She is a former general manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and a senior fellow at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“An enormous leadership responsibility is being put on water professionals that the profession has never had to embrace before,” Mulroy said.

With a career spanning more than three decades, Mulroy has been at the forefront of addressing some of the country’s most pressing water management issues. During her tenure at SNWA, she helped the utility navigate unprecedented drought and shape regional water policy through interstate and international agreements with Colorado River Basin states and Mexico.

Water sector needs technology, policy, mindset changes

As the world faces increasing challenges from climate change, including severe droughts and unpredictable weather patterns, Mulroy's insights into the necessary adaptations for water sustainability are more relevant than ever.

“The single biggest issue for the water community is adapting to the new reality that climate change is going to bring us," Mulroy said. “It's going to take technology adoption, massive policy changes, and mindset shifts in order to guide communities through this adaptation process.”

ACE24 ACE24 attendees can expect to gain meaningful insights from Mulroy's leadership philosophy, which underscores the importance of listening and understanding diverse perspectives to effectively manage complex water resource issues.

“I have one very simple rule. Listen, before you talk,” Mulroy said. “It is very easy for someone to come to the table and reiterate their position over and over again. It's a whole other thing to sit back and try to completely understand where your counterpart is coming from.”

Mulroy encouraged conference goers to explore sessions beyond their usual interests. 

“This year's ACE program includes great technical programs, and there are also sessions that speak to the interpersonal side of water, like communications and human resources,” she said. “My advice to everybody is to go to the ones that don't naturally draw you in, that are outside your comfort zone. You may learn something.”

The theme of ACE24 is “Transforming our Water Future.” The program features 19 professional tracks and 150 educational sessions. Participants can register for the conference here. More information is available on the ACE24 website.