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US states to meet at deadline on Colorado River drought plan

Colorado River Lake Mead Hoover Dam
Colorado River Lake Mead Hoover Dam
Posted at 12:31 PM, Dec 09, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) - With drought continuing and reservoirs shrinking, seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the Colorado River had been expected to ink a crucial share-the-pain contingency plan by the end of 2018.

Officials now say they're not going to make it - at least not in time for upcoming meetings in Las Vegas involving representatives from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the U.S. government.

Arizona has been the holdout, with farmers, cities, Indian tribes and lawmakers still negotiating how the first state to feel the pinch would deal with water cutbacks when a shortage is declared, probably in 2020.

And a final agreement will have to pass the Arizona state legislature, which doesn't convene until January.

Federal water managers are set to extend the deadline.