The climate is getting drier and water supplies are growing scarcer across the seven southwestern states that depend on the Colorado River and its tributaries. To find ways to stretch the system farther, Utah is helping to maintain an interstate pilot program with Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico in search of new ways to cut back on consumption and prepare for extended droughts. The Utah Division of Water Resources announced last week that $1.8 million has been made available as compensation for municipalities, farmers and ranchers, businesses and individuals with ideas, with the states agreeing to extend its existing program to a third year for 2017. By experimenting with the pilot program, the hope is to learn new ways to keep water levels high enough at Lake Powell to meet water demands and maintain hydropower production.
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