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Arizona lawmakers OK Colorado River drought plan

If the Legislature didn't join the multi-state plan, the federal government would have imposed its own restrictions, which would likely have hit Arizona even harder.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Legislature has voted to join a multi-state plan to conserve Colorado River water in the face of prolonged drought.

The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for the drought plan Thursday as the state faced a deadline to sign on or let the federal government impose its own restrictions, which would likely hit Arizona even harder.

PREVIOUS: Arizona lawmakers debate plan to conserve Colorado River, help farmers

Lawmakers approved two measures. One lets the state sign onto the drought plan. The other implements an agreement among Arizona water users to spread around the cuts in water.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is a strong supporter of the plan and is expected to promptly sign both measures.

The Arizona cuts will fall primarily on farmers in Pinal County, who have the lowest-priority access to Colorado River water.