Palmetto Bend Dam and Reservoir:

Need for Improved Analysis of Alternatives and Cost Data

PSAD-78-43: Published: Dec 16, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 1977.

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The Palmetto Bend Dam and Reservior project at Jackson County, Texas, is designed to provide municipal and industrial water, fish and wildlife benefits, and recreational opportunites. The Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for its construction.

Since its authorization in 1968, the project's estimated cost has doubled, and additional cost is expected. The Bureau has not maintained records summarizing cost growth by inflation, engineering, scope, schedule, and changes in estimates. Also, the completion date for the project was advanced 27 months, from June 1977 to September 1979, because of a lack of funds to allow for an award for construction in 1972, the Bureau's decision not to award any new large contract for 1974, and an injunction halting construction during 1975. Authorization of the project was based on projections of population and industrial expansion which proved to be too optimistic. The project's development plan did not adequately consider all possible alternatives; the only alternative considered was financing the same project by private funds.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: The Secretary of the Interior should: instruct the Bureau to maintain records that accurately summarize the reasons for cost growth and provide the results to Congress during annual appropriation hearings; require the Commissioner of Reclamation to implement procedures that would reanalyze Bureau projects based on updated data; and direct the Commission to provide Congress with supplemental data relating to cost, schedule, and performance on alternatives not selected for future municipal and industrial water-supply projects.


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