Water Resources:

Flooding on Easement Lands Within the Red Rock, Iowa, Reservoir

RCED-95-4: Published: Dec 23, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed: (1) whether the property within the Red Rock, Iowa, reservoir's boundary has been inundated beyond the levels permitted by the easements allowing occasional flooding; (2) whether compensation for the easements should be renegotiated with the landowners; and (3) actions taken to implement section 108(b) of Public Law 99-190, which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to purchase property with easements from those landowners who are willing to sell.

GAO found that: (1) the Red Rock easement documents do not specify a permitted flooding frequency, level, duration, or timing, only that the flooding would be occasional; (2) flooding has occurred on easement lands more frequently than the Corps estimated, and landowners believe that they should receive additional compensation for the easements; (3) Congress must decide whether additional compensation should be provided to the landowners, since the easement documents do not provide for renegotiating easement compensation if the flooding is greater than expected; (4) crop losses have exceeded easement payments by up to $2.3 million; (5) the Corps' long-term flooding estimates may have been too low; (6) too few years have passed since the beginning of the project to judge the validity of the flood-frequency estimates; (7) few landowners have sold their lands to the Corps, since they believe that the Corps' offered purchase prices are too low to allow them to buy comparable farmland; and (8) the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works believes that the Corps should consider leasing the lands back to those owners who are willing to sell.

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