Arizona water officials came to an agreement on a plan that deals with water shortages as the Colorado River water supply continues to decline.
The Drought Contingency Plan had already been signed off on by Nevada and California, but had stalled in Arizona as officials struggled to deal with how to take the most cutbacks should Lake Mead hit shortage levels.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has said a shortage is all but inevitable and could hit as soon as next year.
Arizona’s plan lays out $100 million – including $30 million in state tax revenue – that would pay to have water previously stored underground pumped out to meet some of the needs of farmers and others who would otherwise find themselves going without. It also involves paying some cash to tribes and others to buy water rights.
The Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources says the plan primarily deals with finding ways to leave more water in Lake Mead. The plan still requires approval by lawmakers.