States in the U.S. West that have agreed to take less water next month from the drought-stricken Colorado River got praise and a push for more action from the nation’s top water official.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman told water managers from seven states that the promises they made to avoid severe cutbacks are crucial.

She also said Thursday that tougher challenges are ahead.

Beginning Jan. 1, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico start taking less water from the river that supports about 40 million people.

Officials say cuts won't be noticeable.

California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming also have a stake in river water.

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