Throughout the 20th Century, American communities became increasingly reliant on infrastructure systems that extended well beyond the reach of their direct control. With the dramatic expansion of the electrical grid, the development of the interstate highway system, the construction of a continental network of fuel pipelines, and the building of long-range water distribution networks such as the Colorado River Aqueduct, the infrastructure that major metropolitan regions rely upon for energy, transportation, water, and communications reach across multiple local, state, and even national jurisdictions. Not only have individual infrastructure systems become more expansive, they have become increasingly interconnected and interdependent. This trend has only accelerated in the current century with the pervasive integration of internet enabled devices into physical systems.

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