Mark Olalde is a reporter covering the environment in the Southwest. Before joining ProPublica, he wrote for The Desert Sun, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. His investigations, which have taken him to numerous countries, have also been published in the Los Angeles Times, High Country News, USA Today and international outlets. Olalde's coverage of hidden cleanup liabilities in California's oilfields earned him the 2020 Stokes Award. His work on South Africa's abandoned mines prompted a parliamentary investigation and saw him recognized in 2017 as the country's top print reporter covering the environment.
The nation’s fastest-growing and second-driest state had a banner year for water conservation as it plays catch-up to the rest of the West.
In a Q&A with ProPublica, experts describe how a new climate reality threatens the Southwest, the fastest-growing region in the U.S.
Utah has some of the highest per-capita water use and is the fastest-growing state. Yet a powerful group that steers Utah’s water policy keeps pushing for costly infrastructure over meaningful conservation efforts.