Water Quality:

Information on Salinity Control Projects in the Colorado River Basin

T-RCED-95-185: Published: May 11, 1995. Publicly Released: May 11, 1995.

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GAO discussed salinity control projects in the Colorado River Basin, focusing on: (1) project costs; (2) the factors to consider in selecting salinity control methods; and (3) measurements of program effectiveness. GAO noted that: (1) the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent about $362 million on salinity control projects through 1994; (2) BOR and USDA estimate that they will spend about $428 million for additional projects, while BLM expects to spend $800,000 in fiscal year 1995 on salinity control projects; (3) the agencies consider cost effectiveness, feasibility, and environmental effects in selecting salinity control methods; (4) Colorado River salinity levels have remained below mandated limits since 1974; and (5) with the completion of planned projects, salinity levels should remain within the established limits beyond 2010.

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