LAS VEGAS | Federal officials say rising demand and falling supply pose a risk of water shortages over the next 50 years for some 40 million people, including Native Americans, businesses, ranchers and farmers in seven Western states dependent on the Colorado River.

However, the two-year study released Wednesday by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar with members of a Colorado River Water Users Association conference in Las Vegas is already being criticized by advocacy groups who say the report is flawed.

Water administrators and state officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming have been considering a range of outside-the-box ideas such as piping water from the nation's heartland and towing Arctic icebergs south.

They're trying to find ways to make sure U.S. cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix don't run out of water.

I am the online editor at the Rapid City Journal.

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