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Bills In Congress Would Implement Drought Plan In West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Federal legislation has been introduced on a plan to address the shrinking supply of water from a river that serves 40 million people in the U.S. West.

Sen. Martha McSally and Rep. Raul Grijalva introduced identical bills Tuesday and vowed to move them quickly through the chambers. Lawmakers from Colorado River basin states signed on as co-sponsors.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming have spent years crafting drought contingency plans. They aim to keep two key Colorado River reservoirs from falling so low that they cannot deliver water or produce hydropower.

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The states want congressional approval by April 22 so that Mexico will join some states in contributing water to Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada border.

The drought plans got their first congressional hearings last week.