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Report says water challenges will test Arizona

The Colorado River's Horseshoe Bend. The Colorado River system provides municipal water for more than 30 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico, but climate change, drought, population growth and wildlife needs have heightened competition for the system's limited water supplies.

A university think tank’s new report says Arizona hasn’t ignored its water needs, but a return of rapid population growth to desert cities will test the state, forcing consideration of significant changes in lifestyle, particularly for affluent residents.

Some of those decisions could hit close to home for both current and new residents because they involve the desires of many for water-consuming landscaping and private swimming pools prevalent in the Phoenix area, according to the report being released Thursday by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University.

The report discussed water supplies and use in the “Sun Corridor,” a so-called “megapolitan” region of central and southern Arizona stretching from Phoenix in Maricopa County on the north and southward through Pinal County to Tucson in Pima County.

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