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California agencies at odds over Colorado River drought plan
Published in 13-3-2019
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PHOENIX (AP) A major Southern California water agency is trying to push the state through a final hurdle in joining a larger plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people.

Most of the seven states that get water from the Colorado River have signed off on plans to keep the waterway from crashing amid a prolonged drought, climate change and increased demands. But California and Arizona have not, missing deadlines from the federal government.

Arizona has some work to do but nothing major holding it back. California, however, has two powerful water agencies fighting over how to get the drought contingency plan approved before U.S. officials possibly impose their own rules for water going to California, Arizona and Nevada.

The Metropolitan Water District is positioning itself to shoulder nearly all of California's water contribution, with its board voting unanimously Tuesday to essentially write out of the drought plan another agency that gets more Colorado River water than anyone else.

That agency, the Imperial Irrigation District, has said it won't approve the plan unless the federal government agrees to commit $200 million to address the Salton Sea, a massive, briny lake southeast of Los Angeles that has become an environmental and health hazard in the Imperial and Coachella valleys.

The Metropolitan Water District a massive agency that supplies drinking water to 19 million people in Southern California would have to provide what could be nearly 2 million acre-feet of water between 2020 and 2026. An acre-foot serves about one to two average households a year.

Metropolitan and Imperial were supposed to put up the lion's share of the 200,000 to 350,000 acre-feet from California's annual share of the deal. Two other agencies also...

Reference: www.chron.com