Water quality (1 - 10 of 239 items)
Environmental Protection: Information on Federal Agencies' Expenditures and Coordination Related to Harmful Algae
GAO-17-119: Published: Oct 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2016.
Twelve federal agencies reported expending an estimated total of roughly $101 million from fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to fund various research, monitoring, and other activities related to harmful algae—overgrowths of algae that can create toxic “blooms” in marine or freshwater environments. The agencies provided a mix of actual and estimated expenditure data and used different methods fo...
Environmental Protection Agency: Status of Efforts to Address Nonpoint Source Water Pollution through the Section 319 Program
GAO-16-697R: Published: Jul 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
From fiscal years 2011 through 2014, the most recent years for which complete data were available, states awarded at least 3,080 projects under the section 319 program for addressing nonpoint source water pollution, which comes from such sources as runoff from farms, managed forests, and urban areas. Similar to what GAO found in May 2012, the two most common categories of nonpoint source water pol...
Environmental Protection: Status of GAO Recommendations to EPA
GAO-16-722T: Published: Jun 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2016.
As of May 23, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had implemented 174 of the 325 recommendations GAO made in fiscal years 2006 through 2015. EPA had not yet implemented the remaining 151 recommendations. The figure below shows the status of the 325 recommendations, which fall into six broad categories that relate to EPA programs and operations. These are: (1) management and operat...
Municipal Freshwater Scarcity: Survey of Technology Adoption by Municipal Water Utilities (GAO-16-588SP, April 29, 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-474
GAO-16-588SP: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016.
This is an e-supplement to GAO-16-474. This e-supplement presents the results of GAO's web-based survey of 1,303 U.S. municipal water utilities. The survey asked questions about: (1) the technologies utilities use to improve water distribution efficiency; (2) the technologies they use to treat nontraditional water sources; (3) the challenges they face in using such technologies; and (4) the basic...
Technology Assessment: Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources
GAO-16-474: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016.
Water scarcity occurs when the demand for water in a given area approaches or exceeds available water supplies. A water utility facing scarcity may attempt to address it by reducing its demand on existing water supplies, increasing its water supplies, or both. Many mature technologies are available to address both of these areas. For example, a utility could try to improve the efficiency of its di...
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Improved Data Collection and Reporting Would Enhance Oversight
GAO-15-526: Published: Jul 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2015.
Nearly all of the $1.68 billion of federal funds made available for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 had been allocated as of January 2015. Of the $1.66 billion allocated, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the other Task Force agencies expended $1.15 billion for 2,123 projects (see fig.). Agencies can liquidate and adjust obligations for...
Missouri River Flood and Drought: Experts Agree the Corps Took Appropriate Action, Given the Circumstances, but Should Examine New Forecasting Techniques
GAO-14-741: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2014.
Experts who participated in a GAO-sponsored meeting agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) made appropriate release decisions during the 2011 flood and 2012 and 2013 drought affecting the Missouri River basin, given the severity of these events. These experts acknowledged that the flood was primarily due to extreme rain in eastern Montana in May and June 2011. The experts agreed that...
Freshwater: Supply Concerns Continue, and Uncertainties Complicate Planning
GAO-14-430: Published: May 20, 2014. Publicly Released: May 22, 2014.
Key issues related to freshwater availability and use—such as concerns about population growth straining water supplies, lack of information on water availability and use, and trends in types of water use—remain largely unchanged since 2003, according to state water managers, experts, and literature. In addition, GAO's review found certain issues, such as the impacts of climate change and extr...
Drinking Water: EPA Has Improved Its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program, but Additional Action Is Needed
GAO-14-103: Published: Jan 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented all of the recommendations GAO made in its May 2011 report to improve the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) program. In that report, GAO recommended that EPA (1) monitor for the full 30 contaminants allowed by statute, (2) monitor for most or all contaminants using a more robust monitoring approach, and (3) select sufficiently...
Clean Water Act: Changes Needed If Key EPA Program Is to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals
GAO-14-80: Published: Dec 5, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states each have responsibilities for developing and implementing pollution targets, known as total maximum daily loads (TMDL). EPA oversees states' TMDL efforts by establishing in regulations minimum requirements TMDLs need for approval, providing funding, and furnishing technical assistance. States develop TMDLs and generally take the lead in imp...