(ANSA) - NEW YORK, JAN 27 - It is unlikely that the seven states that rely on the water of the drying up Colorado River will voluntarily make deep reductions in their water consumption, and this will force the federal government to impose for the first time water supply cuts for 40 million Americans.
According to the New York Times, the Interior Department had asked states to voluntarily come up with a plan by Jan. 31 to collectively reduce the amount of water they draw from Colorado.
The call for these cuts, on a scale unprecedented in US history, was sparked by the precipitous decline of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which supply water and electricity to Arizona, Nevada and Southern California.
Droughts, climate change and population growth have caused the water level in the lakes to plummet.
The chances of a voluntary deal, however, look slim, and it would be the second time in six months that states that rely on the river, in addition to Arizona, Nevada and California, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, have missed a deadline to agree to the cuts requested by the administration in an effort to avert a catastrophic collapse of the river system.