Water Resources:

Corps' Management of Reservoirs in the Missouri River Basin

T-RCED-94-43: Published: Oct 11, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 11, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Army Corps of Engineers' management of the Missouri River reservoir system and the status of revisions to its Missouri River Master Manual. GAO noted that: (1) between 1988 and 1990, the Corps followed its drought contingency plan and released water from the reservoir system; (2) the drought and the Corps' action adversely impacted all of the reservoirs' purposes except flood control; (3) the Corps is revising its Missouri River Master Manual because of questions regarding its operation of the reservoir system and because the plan no longer reflects current economic conditions in the Missouri River basin; (4) the Corps' position on assigning priorities for water release is inappropriate, since federal statutes do not require the Corps to give recreation a lower priority than flood control, navigation, irrigation, and hydroelectric power generation; (5) Congress should enact legislation that requires the Corps to establish priorities for operating its reservoir projects based on economic, environmental, social, and other benefits; and (6) the Corps has ensured that it will consider all reservoir purposes equally as it revises its Master Plan.

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