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100 years after compact, Colorado River nearing crisis point

The Colorado River flows over mud flats upstream of Lake Powell near Hite, Utah.
Luke Runyon/KUNC
The Colorado River flows over mud flats upstream of Lake Powell near Hite, Utah.

DENVER (AP) — In November 1922, seven land-owning white men brokered a deal to allocate water from the Colorado River, which winds through the West and ends in Mexico. The divvying up between Colorado River Basin states never took into account Indigenous Peoples or many others, and from the start the calculation of who should get what amount of that water may never have been balanced. During the past two decades, pressure has intensified on the river as the driest 22-year stretch in the past 1,200 years has gripped the southwestern U.S. As water levels plummet, calls for reduced use have often been met with increased population growth. One hundred years on, the future of the Colorado River is uncertain.