California and six other growing states vie for Colorado River, officials seek solutions

Colorado River supplies 40 million people

DURANGO, Colo. - Government officials are urging Congress to consider solutions to deal with possible water shortages in the Colorado River basin that could include finding ways to reduce demand, conservation and better management of water supplies.

At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, officials said a two-year study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation found the river will not be able to provide enough water for its nearby communities in 50 years.

The Colorado River basin and its tributaries supply water to nearly 40 million people in seven states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall said, "We need to make every drop count."

Bureau of Reclamation commissioner Mike Connor told lawmakers the federal government needs help from each state if plans to save the river are going to work.

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