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A Conversation with Dr. Katherine Himes

The city of Phoenix, Arizona has doubled its population in the past 20 years without increasing its water consumption—a minor miracle in a region that receives less than 10 inches of rainfall each year.

The city held water usage down with a variety of initiatives, from leveling agricultural fields to avoid runoff to encouraging citizens to do their laundry at night. “Technology was part of that,” said Matt Fraser, a professor of sustainability at Arizona State University, but “the biggest part was actually changing people’s behavior.”