Use of Appropriated Funds for the Construction of Water Conservation and Utilization Projects

B-37747: Nov 19, 1943

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The War Food Administration asked GAO for its opinion on the Water Conservation and Utilization Act. Specifically, it asked whether appropriated funds may be used for the development of projects and the settlement thereof by farm families after the Department of the Interior has constructed the required facilities for the irrigation of lands.

GAO found that the term "improvements" as mentioned in the act seemed to mean work of the nature specifically mentioned in the act, namely, "clearing, leveling, and preparing for distribution of irrigation water." Thus, GAO concluded that there is no authority to use funds appropriated under the act for construction of the types of buildings needed for settlement as described by the War Food Administration.