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Water Lawsuit Settled In California Involves Lower Basin's Biggest User

Two major California water agencies have settled a lawsuit that once threatened to derail a multi-state agreement to protect the Colorado River.

The Imperial Irrigation district is the largest recipient of water from the river. That group reached a deal to store water in Lake Mead and join drought contingency efforts if dry conditions worsen and mandatory cutbacks are issued. Robert Schettler is a spokesman for the district.

"With things being as they are in the river today, the conditions, the drought and the shortage declared. This is positive news that we’re all working together," said Schettler.

The lawsuit was between Imperial and the Metropolitan Water District, which serves Los Angeles. Imperial has rights to more than one-third of the water allocated to the three states in the river’s lower basin and Mexico. The Colorado river serves more than 40 million people across the West.