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Officials: Arizona won't have drought plan done by deadline

Posted at 1:42 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 22:40:43-05

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona water officials say the state won't have all the pieces of a Colorado River drought plan wrapped up by a March 4 deadline set by the federal government.

Central Arizona Project director Ted Cooke says he expects about half of the 15 agreements to be in place by the deadline and hopes to have the rest signed within 60 days. Cooke says March 4 is an "artificial deadline" and the state is working diligently to finalize the complex agreements.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Director Brenda Burman says she'll ask governors of the seven Colorado River states what should happen next if Arizona and California don't finish their plans by March 4. The other states are finished.

The Colorado River provides drinking water for 40 million people.