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Seven states that rely on a major waterway in the U.S. West have finished a yearslong effort to create a plan to protect the Colorado River amid a prolonged drought, the federal government declared Tuesday.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman commended Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming for reaching a consensus on the Colorado River drought contingency plan. Now the states are seeking approval from Congress to implement it.
Time - Delegations - DCP - Year - Burman
"It is time for us to work with our congressional delegations to move forward to make sure we can implement DCP this year," Burman said on a call with reporters.
The Colorado River serves 40 million people and 7,812 square miles (20,232 square kilometers) of farmland in the West.
Drought - Plan - Water - Lake - Mead
Under the drought plan, 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. Mexico also has agreed to cuts.
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 to help restore a massive, briny lake southeast of Los Angeles known as the Salton Sea. The district also accused others in the Colorado River basin of reneging on a promise to cross the finish line together.
IID - Agenda - Part - DCP - Salton
"IID has one agenda, to be part of a DCP that treats the Salton Sea with the dignity and due consideration it...
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