El Paso, Texas: The Six Shooter Capital of the World

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El Paso, Texas, in 2010, was given the All-American City Award by the National Civic League. This award is given to the top 10 communities within the United States annually. It is awarded in recognition of the entire community coming together to address community-wide challenges sucessfully.

In 1979, a study concluded that water from Hueco Bolson, El Paso’s underground aquifer, would dry up by 2030 because of the rate of water usage at that time, about 1 ½ feet per year. An extensive water conservation program was enacted 20 years ago that focused on a tiered water rate structure, punishing those who are heavy water users. This program entailed a landscaping ordinance and a watering ordinance as well as rebates. As a result, El Paso achieved its goal of reducing water consumption by 20% in 2000. Further, another 12.5% decrease, to 140 per-capita gallons used per day, was achieved in 2006, four years ahead of schedule.

As of August 2010, El Paso has an estimated population of 665,055. It is the 6th largest city in Texas and the 22nd largest city in the United States. El Paso stands on the Rio Grande River across from the city of Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico. Both cities have combined services and become an international metropolitan area with a combined population of about 2 million people.

The area sits in the Chihuahuan desert and is known for its dust storms and scorching temperatures. In winter, the temperatures average a low of 39 degrees and summer temperatures average a high of 95 degrees. El Paso's nickname: “The Six Shooter Capital of the World” came about in the 1800’s due to the city's lawlessness.

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