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Sustaining the Mighty Colorado

Federal water managers are meeting with representatives from seven Western states including Arizona to begin hammering out rules for sustaining the Colorado River. Arizona Public Radio’s Terry Ward reports…

The meeting in San Diego comes amid dire predictions of looming shortages. Just five months ago, the secretary of the interior said that the Colorado River might not be able to meet demands of a growing regional population over the next 50 years. Federal Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor says the Colorado’s largest reservoirs — Lake Mead and Lake Powell are projected to drop to 45 percent capacity by September.

Connor says 2013 could turn out to be the fourth-driest year in the western region over the past 100 years. Last year was the fifth-driest. The river is crucial to some 40 million people in Arizona and six other western states. Mexico also has a stake.