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White House Watching California Water

Senior White House advisors are monitoring the U.S. Interior Department´s efforts to broker a deal in California over the Colorado River.

The White House´s involvement comes after an influential San Diego-area congressman accused the department of favoring Los Angeles at the expense of the Imperial Valley. Congressman Duncan Hunter said Karl Rove, a key political strategist for President Bush, will review the Interior Department´s role in helping California negotiate a Colorado River water pact.

A White House official said Wednesday that Rove and his staff were listening and passing along concerns, but the water issues remained in the hands of the Interior Department.

Hunter, an Alpine Republican who is chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, said he and 4 other California representatives sought a meeting with Rove in February during a Republican congressional retreat in Maryland.