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Old 05-02-2007, 09:43 AM
2,755 posts, read 11,301,098 times
Reputation: 1454



I'm not aware that we sold any water rights to Arizona, but I do agree with you that the Front Range, possibly more so than anywhere else including Arizona, is in denial about its water issues. Everyone on the front range thinks they need a bluegrass lawn from one side of the property to the other. You go to Albuquerque, which gets about the same amount of precipitation as we do (more rain, less snow, but it's about the same in terms of inches), and you see largely xeriscaped landscaping. Even in Arizona, of all places, people seem to understand that water is scarce, and most public lawns on golf courses there are watered with reclaimed sewer water. We're the ones in denial about our problems.

The thing is that I don't think it'd be a big deal to get rid of the bluegrass. We could easily xeriscape around the edges, and leave a smaller "putting green" style lawn of a drought-tolerant grass in the middle of the yard -- use about 5 times less water and I think the landscaping could actually look better than just sod carpeted from end-to-end. But I think for builders it's easier for them to just lay down sod -- they don't have any experience really in landscape design, and they don't care if it takes more water in the long run since they're selling the house and moving on. Plus, the people who move into the new neighborhoods are mostly from out of state where water is plentiful, and they probably wouldn't understand the need and sacrifices for water conservation.

If we want to change our water-hogging ways we'd have to set standards for new development -- drought tolerant grasses, xeriscaping, etc. I'm not sure that's possible but it is needed.

Old 05-02-2007, 10:38 AM
Location: Denver, CO
5,603 posts, read 19,729,761 times
Reputation: 5247
Arizona is kind of a mixed bag... some of the older, nicer parts of Phoenix are tremendously lush with trees, grass, etc, using wasteful flood irrigation. Tucson and the newer parts of Phoenix tend to use desert landscaping entirely, filling the front and back yards with rocks instead of grass. I would guess the biggest uses of water in Phoenix would be golf courses and people's private swimming pools. Believe it or not, water is extremely cheap in Phoenix, especially if you are in the Salt River Project territory. I pay about $20 a month total for my 2-bedroom apartment. Especially with the building of the Central Arizona Project canal, a 300+ mi canal pumping water upstream from the Colorado River to PHX and TUS, the population of the state could literally DOUBLE in size without having to worry about water running dry. So I can definitely see why Coloradans (and Nevadans, who have almost no Colorado River water rights) would resent AZ.

With that said, I think the resentment of CO vs AZ, west slope vs. east slope, other Denver suburbs vs. Aurora is purely about politics, not an objective right or wrong. In both states, the majority of water goes to agricultural uses, not municipal. Although, as others have said, if you were to cut agricultural water, crops would go bad for a year... but how can you cut off a city water supply? Having grown up in Aurora and spent a lot of time at the Aurora Resevoir, I think it is about jealousy. "How can ghetto Aurora have its own water supply-- one that even stacks up to Denver itself?" And also, Aurora has practically unlimited land for eastern expansion, whereas almost every other suburb is landlocked. Interestingly, though, when we moved from Aurora to unincorp. Arapahoe county (now Centennial) just a half mile away, we no longer got Aurora water, which is quite good, and instead got horrible well water.

Most people simply don't get it. I think you almost have to be a "native Auroran" like myself to have sympathy for the city.
Old 05-02-2007, 11:01 AM
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 330,083 times
Reputation: 50
Aurora will soon be the largest city in Colorado. And as it expands with nice subdivisions it will get more respect. In fact, it could even eventually become a 'twin city' much like St. Paul is to Minneapolis.
Old 05-02-2007, 11:33 AM
Location: Irvine
257 posts, read 834,378 times
Reputation: 108
GretchenB, I have never heard Aurora to referred to as "Saudi Aurora" as you had in the subject line of your first post. Is that suppose to be a jab at the fact there is a mosque in Aurora?

Also, I am sure everyone saw the story in Denver Post about the challenges faced by Aurora School District - most notably the rise of English non-speaking students from 16 to 40%. I think you cannot have a vibrant family oriented suburb without a good school system - because it then becomes an area where families only buy into when they cannot afford something else in a good school district.
Old 05-02-2007, 07:41 PM
Status: "Springtime in the Rockies" (set 19 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
82,798 posts, read 95,258,752 times
Reputation: 29381
My daughter told about "Saudi Aurora". She heard it on a radio station. I still think racism is the reason Aurora is dislike/ridiculed. Aurora has a higher percentage of African Americans than Denver.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 05-02-2007 at 08:39 PM..
Old 05-02-2007, 09:17 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
210 posts, read 1,228,540 times
Reputation: 62
I have heard the term "Saudi Aurora" on a radio station once before, they said it was because of the lack of trees. Who knows. It wasn't even a local person that said it, but some nationally-syndicated talk show host.

I think there have been a number of plausible reasons discussed here why Aurora is disliked apart from racism-- IMHO there is still no substantiation to the claim that it has to do with racism. I have many African American friends that live in Aurora (and in north Aurora, specifically) and they have never voiced the opinion that dislike of Aurora has to do with racism. It is true that, overall, Aurora has a greater percentage of the population that is African American than anywhere else in the Denver area. But, it also has higher crime rates, higher murder rates, higher rape rates, higher robbery rates, higher numbers of gun crimes, and higher numbers of aggravated assaults than any other Denver suburb (and it is even worse than Denver with some of these statistics). There are waaay too many variables, including variables that people generally deem important in judging the quality of life of a town or city, to conclude that one demographic measure is the source of the city's bad reputation.
Old 05-03-2007, 12:30 AM
Location: Makakilo, O'ahu, Hawaii
40 posts, read 194,653 times
Reputation: 27
I was calling Aurora Saudi Aurora back when I was in Highschool (15 years ago). We also called it BFE (Bum F*** Egypt - kinda crude but thats high school for ya). The reason why we called it that was because at that time, Southeast Aurora was out in the sticks. Tower & Hampden was as far as Aurora went for the most part. I don't think anyone used it as a racial thing. Nothing was ever said about foreigners or mosques or anything like that when it was mentioned. When someone suggested on here it was racially motivated, it's the first time I ever heard that idea.
Old 05-03-2007, 05:02 PM
Location: Irvine
257 posts, read 834,378 times
Reputation: 108
Quote: "When someone suggested on here it was racially motivated, it's the first time I ever heard that idea."

I don't know if you were referring to me when I asked the nature of the "Saudi Aurora" title... if so, I wasn't suggesting anything, simply wanted to know what the title meant because I have never heard of it.
Old 05-03-2007, 05:10 PM
Status: "Springtime in the Rockies" (set 19 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
82,798 posts, read 95,258,752 times
Reputation: 29381
I think it was me. Political may be the other explanation.
Old 05-03-2007, 05:15 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
210 posts, read 1,228,540 times
Reputation: 62
With all due respect, Aurora isn't any different politically than a lot of other areas in Denver.
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