Story by Laurel Morales
Four states that rely on the Colorado River are partnering with the federal government to reduce water use.
The Central Arizona Project, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Denver Water are each chipping in $2 million to help farmers, cities and industries pay for water efficiency improvements.
The federal government is adding $3 million to the program. Farmers can propose lining their irrigation canals. A city could get seed money to build a water reclamation project.
"What makes this unique is that funding from multiple states and the federal government are pooled to benefit the entire Colorado River system," said Chuck Cullom, the Colorado River program manager for CAP.
Cullom said there is a good chance the Colorado River lower basin states will experience water shortage by 2017, so the other partners are trying to reduce that risk.
A final agreement is expected early next month.