7 states sign Colorado River water pact
LAS VEGAS (AP) ” Seven Western states have signed a sweeping interstate water sharing agreement that officials hail as a way to blunt the impact of drought on states that draw from the Colorado River.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne also signed the agreement Thursday during a signing ceremony at the Colorado River Water Users Association meeting in Las Vegas.
He called the pact the most important agreement since the states began sharing water from the Colorado River in 1922.
The 20-year operations plan involves California, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
It resolves several legal disputes and contains rules for cooperating to deal with shortages like the ongoing drought gripping the region.
It also has rules that’ll link the big Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs so that, in Kempthorne’s words, “they rise and fall in tandem.”