Major pipeline among ideas for aiding arid West

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Drought-stricken Midwestern states are already squabbling over rights to water in the region's rivers. Now, the fight could be intensified by a new idea for diverting water from the Missouri River to help seven arid states in the West.

A new federal-state study of western water needs includes an option for constructing a 670-mile pipeline to carry water from the Missouri. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has been working with the western states on the study and is expected to release it later this month.

Federal officials say the pipeline is only one of several options. But it is expected to draw strong opposition in the Midwest, which depends on the Missouri for drinking water, hydropower and shipping. Other options in the plan focus on conservation and water recycling.