SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A California judge has tentatively invalidated a landmark pact to curtail the state's overuse of water and allow other Western states to claim their fair share.

The 2003 agreement ended years of bickering over how to divide the Colorado River between California and six western states including Colorado.

More than 30 million acre-feet of water -- enough to cover the state of Pennsylvania a foot deep -- would move from farms to cities in Southern California over the 75-year life of the deal.

Superior Court Judge Roland Candee ruled Thursday that the state improperly agreed to pick up much of the cost of saving the shrinking Salton Sea in the southeastern California desert. There was no cap on the cost and he says that violated a constitutional limit on assuming debts.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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