Information on Federal Funding of Portions of the San Luis Unit of the California Central Valley Project

CED-82-64: Published: Apr 13, 1982. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the funding, obligations, and expenditures for constructing the distribution systems and drains component of the San Luis Unit of the California Central Valley Project.

The proposed system will be the largest system ever built by the Bureau of Reclamation and will irrigate more than one-half million acres. Although construction of the entire unit has not been completed, irrigation water has been delivered since 1967. Construction has been completed on most of the major project features component, and the Bureau considers the authorized funding for this aspect to be adequate to complete construction of the facilities. Since 1975, the Bureau has considered the authorization ceiling for the distribution systems and drains to be inadequate because the authorization was not allowed to increase based on engineering indexes. In 1977, legislation was passed which provided some increase in the original authorization ceiling and which created a taskforce to review the management, organization, and operations of the unit. Until 1979, the distribution systems and drain component has received the maximum authorized funding. However, some of this funding was shifted in 1979 to the separate major projects features component and to other construction projects based on their higher priority needs. At the end of fiscal year 1981, expenditures and unliquidated obligations for the distribution systems and drains totalled less than the authorized ceiling. Today, insufficient funding authority remains to begin major additional work. Therefore, the program is essentially on hold until a new funding ceiling is authorized by Congress.

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