January 25, 2007--Drought addressed in new river pact (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

A new agreement among the seven Colorado River Basin states may help prevent Coloradans from having to curtail their water consumption during times of drought. If the agreement is adopted...the seven basin states will stop fighting over the river's water and begin using Lake Powell to help absorb the effects of drought on the Lower Colorado River Basin. The agreement may encourage the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada to live within their means and force them to take water shortages. The board approved a recommendation that the state sign the new Seven States Agreement, which will allow Nevada to use more Colorado River water, change how lakes Powell and Mead are managed and encourage Colorado to use weather modification to help increase the amount of water flowing into the river. The agreement is "seminal to the history of the Colorado River."...The Lower Basin, according to the agreement, will take incremental shortages of up to 600,000 acre-feet, depending on reservoir elevations in Lake Powell and Lake Mead...For the first time, the Lower Basin is seriously looking at developing water supplies that don't come out of the Colorado River or come through Lees Ferry, Arizona.

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