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States expected to sign voluntary cutback agreement for Colorado River water

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Negotiators for Arizona, California and Nevada are expected to sign an agreement Wednesday to voluntarily reduce their use of Colorado River water by 500,000 acre-feet in 2022 and 2023 to help stave off another round of mandatory cutbacks.

This year, Lake Mead dropped below 1,070 feet of elevation, triggering the first federal federal water shortage on the Colorado River, and with it, mandatory cutbacks in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

Voluntary reductions are expected to delay even wider mandatory cutbacks in future years.