Water Quality

Information on Salinity Control Projects in the Colorado River Basin Gao ID: T-RCED-95-185 May 11, 1995

Through fiscal year 1994, the Interior and Agriculture Departments (USDA) spent $362 million on salinity control projects in six states. Interior's Bureau of Reclamation and USDA estimate that they will spend about $428 million more for additional projects, while Interior's Bureau of Land Management expects to spend $800,000 in fiscal year 1995. In selecting salinity control methods, the agencies consider several factors, key among them the methods' effectiveness and cost. According to Interior's measurements of the salinity control program's effectiveness, salinity levels in the Colorado River since 1974 have been below limits set by the Clean Water Act. With completion of the projects under construction or planned, salinity levels should stay within the established limits beyond 2010. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see: Water Quality: Information on Salinity Control Projects in the Colorado River Basin, by James Duffus III, Director of Natural Resources Management Issues, before the Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources, House Committee on Resources. GAO/T-RCED-95-185, May 11, 1995 (8 pages).

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