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States Set To Sign Drought Contingency Plan For Colorado River

Southwestern water leaders are set to finalize a drought plan for the Colorado RiverMonday at Hoover Dam.

The drought contingency plan has been years in the making and is a response to ongoing dry conditions on the river. 

“This is a big deal. It’s a big deal for the basin. It’s a big deal for the river, and for all the states who depend on the river,” Marlon Duke, the Bureau of Reclamation spokesperson, said. 

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The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people in seven U.S. states and Mexico. 

In Arizona, California and Nevada, the plan sets up a series of cutbacks to the river’s users should its biggest reservoir -- Lake Mead -- continue to drop.

Further upstream, states like Colorado and Utah are looking to the plan to figure out how to use less water and boost another big reservoir -- Lake Powell.