Seems to me that the misuse of water is a gross offense. Nowhere is it more evident than in the American Southwest. Yeah, let's divert 1/8 of the Colorado river to an enormous swath of land that is by definition, a desert. Water utilities are actually cheaper in places like Phoenix because of state and federal subsidies. Let's all throw a penny in the bucket so (insert name) can never have to experience a chill for the rest of their lives, so they can have Christmas dinner on the fucking patio. We should adapt to the land and not adapt the land to us. Sure, that is idealistic, especially in the modern era where it is almost impossible not to rape the land and settle it at the same time, but an effort would be nice. Of course, that doesn't just pertain to the Southwest, but that is a bigger rant for another blogger to espouse. People ought to live wherever the hell they want, but population dispersal and growth should be natural, or in the very least logical.
The area of Phoenix is larger than that of Staten Island, Paris and San Fransisco combined, and is adding 100,000 new people a year with a development plan akin to "Risk". Population growth is not an evil, but the (hate to say it) sprawl mentality is so whorish in this instance that I can hardly believe it. If the civic powers and developers that be would have never decided to pad their pockets with this 1950's-style "progress", people would be living where water exists and where beautiful useful land could be utilized (I'm talking to you Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, the Dakotas etc). Everyone wants to live on the outskirts of the city and the growing patterns of Phoenix reflect that enormously. The only thing is, in five to ten years, those people are no longer on the fringe, their mountain view has been usurped by yet another gated community, and the disgusting trend continues. The cheap labor available from the ample immigrant population is the perfect low-cost environment; it's like giving Methamphetamines to a workaholic (and that is in reference to the developers, not the immigrants).
The problem of population growth is ultimately a losing battle, only so much space and so many little lives elbowing for a view. Phoenix has already dealt with water shortages, and logic suggests that it will only become worse, exponentially worse. The American Southwest is beautiful and awe inspiring, a treasure trove of open road, but it's too bad there is a growing cancer in Arizona (and I'm not talking about Melanoma).