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Colorado Updates Water Outlook Amid Wide Western Drought

  DENVER (AP) — Experts are reviewing the outlook for Colorado's critical mountain snowpack, a factor in how much water will be available next spring for a wide swath of the West and Midwest, including drought-stricken California.

The Colorado Water Availability Task Force is meeting Wednesday in Denver.

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Colorado's statewide snowpack stands at about 79 percent of the long-term average. The snow depth was 92 percent of average in the basin that gives rise to the Colorado River, which supplies water to seven states including California.

Much of the West is in a drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor lists parts of California and Nevada as under extreme or exceptional drought, the driest of five categories.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's National Water and Climate Center says January was unusually warm and dry across the West.
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