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Seven states that rely on a major river in the U.S. West are pushing for federal legislation to implement a plan to protect the water amid a prolonged drought, signaling they see the finish line in what has been years of negotiation.
The Colorado River serves 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Representatives of those states are meeting Tuesday in Phoenix to sign a letter asking Congress to support their drought contingency plans.
Agreements - States - Water - Lake - Mead
Under the agreements, states voluntarily would give up water to keep Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada border and Lake Powell upstream on the Arizona-Utah border from crashing.
The push for federal legislation comes after the Colorado River Board of California voted Monday to move ahead without a water agency that has the largest entitlement to the river's water.
Imperial - Irrigation - District - California - Plan
The Imperial Irrigation District was written out of California's plan when another powerful water agency, the Metropolitan Water District, pledged to contribute most of the state's voluntary water cuts.
Imperial had said it would not commit to the drought plan unless it secured $200 million in federal funding...
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