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California water agencies fight over multistate drought plan

Posted: 11:02 AM, Mar 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-12 18:35:36Z
Colorado River.jpg

PHOENIX (AP) - A major Southern California water agency is positioning itself to shoulder the state's entire water contribution under a plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people.

The Metropolitan Water District board is voting Tuesday on a proposal to essentially write out of a multistate drought plan another agency that gets more Colorado River water than anyone else.

The Imperial Irrigation District says it'll only provide water to keep a key reservoir from dropping to drastically low levels if U.S. officials commit $200 million to address a massive, briny lake southeast of Los Angeles.

Metropolitan says that effort shouldn't stall the drought plan and it can cover Imperial's contribution.

The U.S. government could impose its own rules for water going to California, Arizona and Nevada if seven states can't reach an agreement.