LOS ANGELES, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Three U.S. southwestern states announced on Monday they have struck a historic deal to cut billions of gallons of Colorado River water usage over the next four years, in an effort to ease crisis at the nation's largest reservoirs.
The three states, California, Arizona and Nevada, agreed to cut at least 3 million acre-feet of water through 2026.
There are 40 million people, seven states, and 30 Tribal Nations who rely on the Colorado River Basin for basic services such as drinking water and electricity, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
"Today's announcement is a testament to the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to working with states, Tribes and communities throughout the West to find consensus solutions in the face of climate change and sustained drought," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in the statement.
The deal marks a major step after months of tense negotiations to save a crashing Colorado River system, which has shown alarming water loss in recent years after a multiyear drought collided with decades of overuse.