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Facing federal pressure, six states found a way to conserve Colorado River water

Kayakers walk up a steep, rocky incline to exit the water due to low water levels in Lake Powell, at the Antelope Point Boat Ramp in Page, Arizona.
Kayakers walk up a steep, rocky incline to exit the water due to low water levels in Lake Powell, at the Antelope Point Boat Ramp in Page, Arizona.

The western U.S. is in a megadrought and the seven states that could do something about it are still squabbling. Most of them anyway.Lake Mead and Lake Powell provide water to millions of people, but their water levels have recently hit record lows.

The federal government tasked Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and California with figuring out how to make significant cuts to their usage. Six states agreed on a plan by Tuesday’s deadline. But California held out and stuck to a separate proposal.  

What do these plans mean for the 40 million people who rely on the river for their water?

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Amanda Williams