The states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico have begun a test program to shore up declining reservoir levels if the 15-year drought that has plagued the Colorado River continues into the future. On July 1st, the four states approved 10 projects that allow farmers, municipalities and other water users to voluntarily and temporarily forego use of their water in exchange for compensation. On August 13th the first agreement was reached on a project in the Yampa River basin. The states hope that this will supply information that can be used in times of extreme drought as part of a contingency plan to ultimately reduce impacts on Lake Powell. Lake Powell releases water to Lake Mead for use by Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico. It’s also a major producer of hydropower for the Western United States. The projects will be funded for at least one year, at a total cost of roughly $1 million.