Preliminary results from the Colorado School of Mines and the Colorado School of Public Health research were shared with residents Thursday night.
A deal was supposed to be signed by the end of 2018, under threat that the water levels on the river would push the federal government to impose its own restrictions.
As extreme drought encroached on Colorado and much of the Southwest this year, many eyes turned to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map.
Colorado River water supports about 40 million people and millions of acres of farmland in the U.S. and Mexico.
Environmentalists are challenging a court ruling over whether water from the river is properly accounted for and being used in beneficial ways along the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
Arizona water managers have been leading a series of biweekly meetings since July to work out details of the proposed drought-contingency plan.
Craft brewers say it’s their duty to protect the water they use. Beer is about 90 percent water, after all.
Drought has severely affected reservoir levels in Colorado and water supply is well below normal in almost all of the state’s major basins.
“If storage in Lake Powell cannot rebound in an era where the Upper Basin consumes less than two-thirds of its legal apportionment, then the crisis is already real.”