US, Mexico rewrite rules on sharing Colorado River

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The United States and Mexico are rewriting rules on how to share water from the Colorado River, capping a five-year effort to form a united front against future drought in western states.

The agreement to be signed today gives Mexico rights to put some of its river water in Lake Mead, in Nevada and Arizona, giving it badly needed storage capacity. Mexico will forfeit some share during shortages, bringing itself in line with western U.S. states that already have agreed how much they will surrender.

Agencies in California, Arizona and Nevada also will buy water from Mexico, which will upgrade its infrastructure.

The agreement, in the final days of the administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, is a major amendment to a 1944 treaty granting Mexico 1.5 million acre-feet of river water of water each year.

— enough to supply about 3 million homes — making it the lifeblood of Tijuana and other cities in northwest Mexico.

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