Difficulties Obtaining Water at the U.S. Regional Salinity Laboratory

A-99421: Dec 5, 1938

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The Secretary of Agriculture requested GAO's opinion on its difficulties obtaining water at the U.S. Regional Salinity Laboratory. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchased land from Frank A. Miller, Inc. for us by the Laboratory, and attached to this land was a water right, as evidenced by 17 shares of stock in the Riverside Water Company. All owners of stock in the Riverside Water Company are required to sign the By-Laws, and USDA requested GAO's advice as to whether or not it may subscribe to these By-Laws.

GAO found that if the water necessary for the Laboratory's operation cannot be obtained except by USDA's becoming a stakeholder of the Riverside Water Company and paying the regular fees and assessments incident thereto, GAO is not required to object to such arrangements as may be administratively determined to be necessary for that purpose, or to the use of funds appropriated for the maintenance and operation of the Laboratory to pay such fees, assessments, or other reasonable charges as may be necessary to obtain the required water.