Planners and engineers say the river could remain low and dried out in many areas over the next 50 years.
Water resources engineer David Kanzer says communities in the basin have been living beyond their means. He says the worst of it will be felt by those who live downstream on the river, which has headwaters in Colorado.
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports Colorado is working on a negotiation strategy before a seven-state meeting that is set to meet in Las Vegas.
Morgan Aguilar contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)