Water Subsidies:

The Westhaven Trust Reinforces the Need to Change Reclamation Law

RCED-90-198: Published: Jun 5, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined whether the Bureau of Reclamation's sale of a ranch to a private company was an example of a large farming operation continuing to receive federally subsidized water on its entire acreage.

GAO found that: (1) since the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 did not preclude multiple landholdings from being operated collectively under a trust as one farm while qualifying individually for federal subsidized water, the seller reorganized the ranch, with the individual landholdings eligible to receive federally subsidized water; (2) its criteria suggested that the buyer's acreage was one farming operation; (3) companies did not implement the act's acreage limit in a manner consistent with congressional expectations; (4) after the act's passage, companies reorganized their large farms to receive subsidized water on acreage that would have otherwise exceeded the mandated limit; and (5) by amending the act, Congress could prevent such operations from receiving subsidized water on land in excess of the 960-acre limit.

Jan 15, 2021

Jan 13, 2021

Jan 7, 2021

Dec 18, 2020

Dec 9, 2020

Dec 7, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here