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Water shortages in US West likelier than previously thought

 In this Oct. 14, 2015 photo, a riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River at Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev.
In this Oct. 14, 2015 photo, a riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River at Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev. (KJCT)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 12:10 AM CDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Models released by the U.S. government suggest a future with less water may arrive sooner than previously projected for the seven states that rely on the Colorado River.

After a relatively dry summer, government scientists project Lake Powell and Lake Mead are 12% more likely to fall to critically low levels by 2025 than they projected in the spring. Climate change and prolonged drought have compelled some cities and farms to conserve water to secure the river long term, but it remains overtapped.

The projections could complicate already-fraught negotiations between Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico over the river’s future.

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