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Mon, Sept. 23

Major Colorado River water user floats Arizona drought plan

Superstition Mountains Recharge Project (Central Arizona Project)

Superstition Mountains Recharge Project (Central Arizona Project)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A major Colorado River water user has proposed an interim plan for Arizona as it faces looming deadlines to manage expected shortages.

Arizona's negotiations on a drought contingency plan have slowed after a trio of proposals failed to gain consensus among water users.

The Central Arizona Project board said Thursday its proposal could jumpstart talks. But it covers only three years of a required seven-year, multistate plan to manage the shrinking Colorado River.

The federal government has said it wants a plan from the seven states that use Colorado River water completed soon or it will step in.

The Central Arizona Project proposal would pull water from Lake Mead while encouraging Arizona water users to boost the reservoir's level.

An Arizona drought contingency committee will consider the proposal this month.

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