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Deadline looms for drought-stricken states to cut water use

Rancher Wayne Pollard stands on a ridge above Rifle, Colo. Western Colorado, where the Colorado River begins, is experiencing some of its driest conditions on record.
Luke Runyon
/
KUNC
Rancher Wayne Pollard stands on a ridge above Rifle, Colo. Western Colorado, where the Colorado River begins, is experiencing some of its driest conditions on record.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — 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.