Phoenix among those voluntarily losing Colorado River water

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FILE – A buoy rests on the ground at a closed boat ramp on Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nev., on Aug. 13, 2021. To help stave off another round of mandatory cutbacks, water leaders for Arizona, Nevada and California are preparing to sign an agreement on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, that would voluntarily reduce water to the lower Colorado River basin states by 500,000 acre-feet for both 2022 and 2023. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The city of Phoenix has outlined what it will contribute voluntarily to a regional plan to shore up a reservoir that delivers Colorado River water to three states and Mexico.

The river already can’t provide seven Western states what they were promised a century ago. Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city, is among entities that will pitch in to fulfill the so-called 500+ Plan.

City officials say they’ll leave some water in Lake Mead that straddles the Arizona-Nevada border instead of storing it underground as planned.

The plan will be implemented as Arizona, Nevada and Mexico are forced to endure their first-ever mandatory cuts from the river.

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