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In 1850, Los Angeles was a tiny Spanish pueblo, relying on the Los Angeles River for its water supply.
The river’s water was distributed by the kind of communal system — dams, waterwheels and ditches — that still exists in parts of Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Continue Reading Mulholland’s moxie made L.A. – for better or worse

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City seeking to block courtship of USOC

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In a rapid, coordinated effort to prevent the U.S. Olympic Committee, and possibly the Olympic Training Center, from leaving Colorado Springs, the city is seeking to partner with one of four developer groups to provide new facilities for the organizations.
The city, according to multiple sources who would speak only on condition of anonymity, recently issued a confidential request for information to which it received four responses. The RFI asked developers to partner with the city to provide the USOC with additional athlete housing and a new headquarters building. Continue Reading City seeking to block courtship of USOC

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Budget bombshell: City services unsustainable

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City services and infrastructure are unsustainable at current levels.
That’s the conclusion drawn in the city’s 2008 budget, which for the third time during the last 10 years shows a decrease in spending from the previous year.
“It has become increasingly clear that the City’s current revenue structure is not sufficient to maintain current service levels and standards,” according to the budget. “A comprehensive examination of the City’s revenue structure and delivery of services must be completed.” Continue Reading Budget bombshell: City services unsustainable

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Ariz. would bear brunt of water restrictions

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Of all the states that divided the waters of the Colorado River in 1922, Arizona may have cut the best deal — at least it seemed so at the time.
But 85 years later, because of the state’s explosive growth, the ongoing drought and the state’s junior rights to its allocated water, the deal might not be so good after all. Continue Reading Ariz. would bear brunt of water restrictions

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For a desert community, where summertime temperatures routinely exceed 115 degrees, Phoenix uses water with a profligacy that has long astonished newcomers.
Flying into the city, the grays and browns of the desert landscape are transformed into blues and greens. As if it were a finely wrought brooch of turquoise and lapis lazuli, the city seems to be defined by the deep, startling green of golf courses bordered by the shimmering blue of thousands of swimming pools. Continue Reading Pools, golf courses define the Phoenix-area lifestyle

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Are Phoenix water providers, policymakers and the business community prepared for a future of radically curtailed water supplies?
The Phoenix Water Department has prepared contingency plans for a “Water Crisis,” which would be declared when “… emergency supply and use reduction programs are insufficient to meet water demand.” Continue Reading Phoenix appears to have little concern about water

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Vegas betting on far-away water deals

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For the past six decades, Las Vegas has been the fastest growing city in America.
In 1950, 24,624 people lived in Vegas; today, 591,536 residents call it home.
And that’s just the incorporated city. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Area, with a population of less than 30,000 in 1950, has grown to 1.78 million. Continue Reading Vegas betting on far-away water deals

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Las Vegas not ruling out any of its water options

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Like a gambler playing multiple slots simultaneously, Las Vegas continues to explore water options, some of them as bizarre and unlikely as the city itself.
There has been speculation that Las Vegas could negotiate a deal with Mexico to obtain rights to a portion of Mexico’s Colorado River entitlement. The city would build a massive desalination plant on the Gulf of California, at a cost of more than a billion dollars, which would replace the muddy, contaminated soup that currently flows into Mexico. Continue Reading Las Vegas not ruling out any of its water options

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In an extensive and detailed report, the Southern Nevada Water Authority discussed how it intends to supply water to the city during the next several decades. The plan calls for recycling 100 percent of the city’s wastewater, continuing the city’s draconian water conservation measures, banking surplus Colorado River water, and developing new groundwater and surface water sources. Continue Reading Nevada’s prosperity inextricably linked to Sin City

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The baddest of the bad?

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We can all name our favorites structures — buildings which, like the Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy, or the Fine Arts Center or the stately homes along Wood Avenue, lift our spirits and gladden our hearts.
But what about their opposite numbers?
What about buildings that are as cold and forbidding as a Chicago winter, as grating as a bad karaoke singer or as irritating as a boom car blaring hip-hop at 7 a.m.? Continue Reading The baddest of the bad?

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