US West faces reckoning over water but avoids cuts for now

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Projections for water levels in two massive lakes in the U.S. West are expected to remain high enough to avert severe cuts in states that rely on the Colorado River. Despite the optimistic forecast, water officials say there’s no time to waste to prepare for a drier future as climate change and prolonged drought shrink the amount of water available for cities and farms. With a combination of conservation and alternative sources, officials hope they can avoid painful cuts to their water supply from the river that serves 40 million people in seven states.