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Concerns Grow As West Gets Drier And Talk Turns To Conservation

Associated Press

The mineral "bathtub ring" left by receding water shows how much Lake Mead has shrunk during two decades of drought.

In the West it is said that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. Those conflicts could grow in the coming years as drought shrinks Lake Mead, which supplies water to 40 million people.

A pending federal emergency declaration could limit the amount of water that states draw from the Colorado River.

For years, “much of the discussion in the Colorado River Basin has been who gets the next drop,” says journalist Luke Runyon. “The conversation very recently has shifted to who has to use less.”

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