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A riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River Oct. 14, 2015, at Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev. With drought continuing and reservoirs shrinking, several Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the Colorado River had been expected to ink a crucial share-the-pain contingency plan by the end of 2018. Officials now say they're not going to make it, at least not in time for upcoming meetings in Las Vegas involving representatives from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the U.S. government. (Jae C. Hong/AP, File)

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LAS VEGAS — With drought entering a second decade and reservoirs continuing to shrink, seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the overtaxed Colorado River for crop irrigation and drinking water had been expected to ink a crucial share-the-pain contingency plan by the end of 2018.

By KEN RITTER, Associated Press December 9, 2018