Procedures Needed To Ensure That Irrigation Operation and Maintenance Costs Are Recovered at a Jointly Managed Facility

CED-82-107: Published: Jul 1, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1982.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Hugh J. Wessinger
(202) 275-5489
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO reviewed operations at the Harlan County, Nebraska, Dam and Reservoir to determine whether all reimbursable operating and maintenance costs are being recovered by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation.

For more than two decades, neither the Corps nor the Bureau has collected all the costs due the Federal Government from irrigators using the dam and reservoir water storage space. These unrecovered costs, which now total about $962,000, were incurred by the Corps incident to operation and maintenance of the facility. Federal law, Corps and Bureau policies, and the facility's water sales contracts between the Federal Government and the irrigators all require recovery of these costs. Since the Corps operates and maintains the facility and the Bureau administers the water sales contracts with the irrigators, both agencies are responsible for recovering the costs. However, no procedures exist to require the Corps to inform the Bureau to include these costs in its annual charges to irrigators. While such procedures will help provide for the recovery of future operating and maintenance irrigation costs, they will not effect recovery of past costs incurred and unrecovered. The Bureau and the Corps need to determine the extent to which these past costs can be recovered and take appropriate action. Since joint Corps and Bureau management of Federal water projects is fairly common in the 17 Western States, and no procedures exist on how irrigation costs are to be recovered at such facilities, the agencies have no assurance that such costs are being recovered at other jointly managed facilities.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to establish procedures specifying how future Harlan County Dam and Reservoir irrigation operating and maintenance costs are to be recovered. Corps procedures should require that reimbursable operating and maintenance cost information be provided to the Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau procedures should require that the cost information provided by the Corps be included in Harlan County facility irrigator charges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to establish procedures specifying how future Harlan County Dam and Reservoir irrigation operating and maintenance costs are to be recovered. Corps procedures should require that reimbursable operating and maintenance cost information be provided to the Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau procedures should require that the cost information provided by the Corps be included in Harlan County facility irrigator charges.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to seek, to the extent permitted under executed Harlan County Dam and Reservoir water sales contracts, payments from irrigators for past unrecovered irrigation operating and maintenance costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to seek, to the extent permitted under executed Harlan County Dam and Reservoir water sales contracts, payments from irrigators for past unrecovered irrigation operating and maintenance costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to determine the extent to which situations similar to those at the Harlan County facility exist at other Corps-operated and Bureau of Reclamation-marketed water facilities and adopt procedures to provide for the reimbursement of irrigation operating and maintenance costs at such facilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require the Chief, Corps of Engineers, and the Secretary of the Interior should require the Commissioner of Reclamation to determine the extent to which situations similar to those at the Harlan County facility exist at other Corps-operated and Bureau of Reclamation-marketed water facilities and adopt procedures to provide for the reimbursement of irrigation operating and maintenance costs at such facilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 26, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here