Colorado River States Look for Ways to Stretch Water Supply

Colorado River States Look for Ways to Stretch Water Supply

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The seven states that rely on the Colorado River are looking for ways to conserve water in a supply already stressed by population growth and an ongoing drought.

Water managers in the seven states that rely on the river -- Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California -- believe they can create more reliable drought buffers by targeting the biggest water wasters.

Eradicating invasive plant species was among the less-traditional ideas mentioned in drought response proposals submitted by the states to Interior Secretary Gale Norton earlier this year.

At the top of the species list is the tamarisk, a non-native tree that, by some estimates robs the Colorado River of as much as 500 thousand acre-feet a year. That is nearly twice Nevada's annual river allocation.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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