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Deadline looms for drought-stricken states to cut water use

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AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
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Visitors view the dramatic bend in the Colorado River at the popular Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, in Page, Ariz., on Sept. 9, 2011. Some 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming draw from the Colorado River and its tributaries. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to publish hydrology projections on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, that will trigger agreed-upon cuts to states that rely on the river.

Seven states in the U.S. West are facing a deadline from the federal government to come up with a plan to use substantially less Colorado River water in 2023.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to publish hydrology projections on Tuesday that will trigger agreed-upon cuts to states that rely on the river.

On top of that, states are facing a threat to propose additional cuts or have them mandated by the federal government.

Prolonged drought, climate change and overuse are jeopardizing the water supply that more than 40 million people rely on.

States are acknowledging that painful cuts are needed, but also stubbornly clinging to the water they were allocated a century ago.