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Future of Colorado River on agenda in San Diego

May 27, 2013 • Business


FILE–In this Sunday, April 14, 2013 file photo, hikers make their way along the banks of the Colorado River in Black Canyon south of Hoover Dam, near Willow Beach, Ariz. Decision-makers from seven Western states, Indian tribes and several conservation groups will be meeting in San Diego May 28 to consider their next steps in a collaborative effort to squeeze every useable drop from the overtaxed Colorado River. The meeting comes five months after the Secretary of the Interior declared the river won’t be able to meet demands over the next 50 years of a regional population now about 40 million and growing. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Top water decision-makers from seven Western states plan to join conservation groups and Indian tribes in San Diego on Tuesday to begin hammering out rules for squeezing every useable drop from the overtaxed Colorado River.

The work meeting hosted by federal water managers comes amid dire predictions for the waterway. The U.S. interior secretary five months ago issued a call to arms and declared that the river already described as the most plumbed and regulated in the world would be unable to meet demands of a growing regional population over the next 50 years.

“We’re looking at a very significant chance of declaring a shortage in the Colorado River basin in 2016,” Michael Connor, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, said in an interview in advance of the conference.

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