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Nov 20, 2011 5:25 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

Courts put huge California water pact in limbo

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A landmark accord that ended decades of acrimony over how Southern California gets its water is in jeopardy.

A California appeals court is considering whether to overturn a 2003 pact that created the nation's largest farm-to-city water ransfer and set new rules for dividing the state's share of the Colorado River. A three-judge panel of the 3rd Appellate District in Sacramento will hear arguments Monday.

If a lower court ruling stands, consequences could ripple to six ther Western states and Mexico, which also rely on the 1,450-mile river that flows from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez.

Farmers and environmentalists involved in the lawsuit argue the pact is deeply flawed. Water agencies say it is critical to keeping an uneasy peace on the river.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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