California will receive surplus water from states in the Colorado River basin under a deal signed recently that commits the state to improving its water conservation efforts. The accord commits California to reduce its reliance on Colorado River water over the next 15 years, with the goal of reaching its allotment of 4.4 million ace feet per year. The state routinely has exceeded its allotment of Colorado River water - last year, using 5.3 million-acre feet - by receiving surplus water from Lake Mead in Nevada. The agreement guarantees that California will continue to receive surplus water through 2015 to meet the needs of a growing population.