GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
More than 10% of the U.S. population gets drinking water from privately-owned water utilities and most states regulate the rates these utilities can charge. The utilities are owned by for-profit or nonprofit water companies, or other companies as part of another business.
We make more than 1,000 recommendations annually to help improve government. We alert department heads to the recommendations that can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve their operations.
Extreme weather related to climate change potentially threatens utilities that produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
We examined federal technical and financial assistance to make such infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather and asked experts about additional options.
3 federal agencies—the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the Bureau of Prisons—spent over $50 million in FY 2018 on warehouses, many of which contain property (like vehicles, furniture, and computers).
Debris in the ocean—such as plastic bottles and abandoned fishing gear—is a global economic and environmental problem. Multiple U.S. federal agencies work together on the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee to address this issue.
Activities, such as hydropower and agricultural practices, have impaired water quality in parts of the Columbia River Basin. This has put human health at risk and threatened the existence of some species, such as salmon.