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The Hohokam people lived here as early as 300 BC and developed a complex system of irrigation canals, only to mysteriously abandon them around AD 1450. Until the 1911 completion of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam, northeast of town on the Salt River, Phoenix didn’t amount to much more than a desert outpost. Once this was built, however, the region boomed. The Central Arizona Project (CAP), a controversial $4 billion undertaking completed in the early 1990s, brought more water to the region from the Colorado River via a series of canals and pipelines that runs 336 miles from Lake ­Havasu to Tucson.