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Community Vulnerability Assessments
These projects examined the ways in which residents of the Southwest are vulnerable to climate variability. The region's dry, extreme, and highly variable climate is a major factor shaping ecological and socioeconomic processes. Here, water is a scarce and valuable resource that is directly impacted by climate variability. The Southwest is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and its rate of growth is expected to continue to remain high. Accelerated development and urbanization translates into increased competition for water resources among urban areas, industry and agriculture. These factors underscore the need to understand how the Southwest is affected by climate variability and how vulnerabilities may be reduced from improved climate forecasts. Understanding past and current human vulnerabilities and adaptations is the first step towards addressing more drastic future changes.