oversight

Opportunities for Improvement in the Development and Evaluation of Design Alternatives for Federal Water Resources Projects

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-04-06.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

&
a   m
  s
 .-
F&      .-&
        5t
        E
            COMPTROLLER     GENERAL     OF      THE   UNITED   STATES
                          WASHINGTON.    D.C.     20548




B- 125045




To the President   of the Senate and the
Speaker  of the House of Representatives

        This is our report    on opportunities    for improvement
in the development      and evaluation   of design alternatives   for
Federal    water resources     projects   by the Corps of Engineers,
Department      of the Army   and the Bureau of Reclamation,       De-
partment    of the Interior.

         Our review  was made pursuant  to the Budget and Ac-
counting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting   and
Auditing    Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67).

       Copies of this report    are being sent to the Director,
Office of Management      and Budget;   and to the Secretaries
of the Interior, Defense,    and the Army.




                                             Comptroller           General
                                             of the United         States




                   50 TH ANNIVERSARY                  1921- 1971
I




                                                 OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE
                                                 DEVELOPMENTAND EVALUATION OF DESIGN
                                                 ALTERNATIVES FOR FEDERAL WATER
                                                 RESOURCESPROJECTS
                                                 Corps of Engineers    (Civil Functions)
                                                 Department of the Army
                                                 Bureau of Reclamation
                                                 Department of the Interior     B-125045


I    DIGEST
I   ------

l
I   WHY ImT-I R"VIEW WAS MADE

           Both the Bureau of Reclamation,        Department of the Interior,         and the
           Corps of Engineers,     Department of the Army, plan, construct,             and
           operate similar    water resources     projects.      The-General    Accounting
           Office   (GAO) wanted to know whether certain           design practices    of the
           Bureau and the Corps for such projects--as            well as any differences
           in their   approaches to design--were        appropriate     and whether there
           was adequate coordination,       dissemination,      and documentation     of de-
           sign information     and techniques.

I
I   FIi'JDINGS AiVD CONCLUSIONS

           Differences   existed   in the design       procedures   and practices   of the
           two agencies.

           GAO concluded that substantial            savings could be achieved by improved
           coordination        and dissemination     of design information     and techniques
           provided       (1) differences    in design procedures      and practices   are
           identified        and evaluated    and (2) both agencies adopt, where practi-
           cable, those procedures          and practices    which will    meet most economi-
           tally     their    requirements.
I
I          The following   matters examined and discussed   in this report           demon-
I          strate   the need for improved coordination   and communication           between
I
I
           the Bureau and the Corps.
I
I          The Bureau has made significant     progress   in the design and construc-
I
I          tion of arch dams which,    under certain    conditions,  have significant
I          advantages   over other types of dams. The Corps built        two small arch
I          dams in California    about 30 years ago but no others.
I
           GAO believes that the Corps has not kept abreast    of the technological
           advancements in arch dam design to the same degree as the Bureau.
           The Corps has no published   criteria to assist its engineers   in the
           design and analysis  of arch dams. The Corps may have constructed

     Tear Sheet


                                                   1
The Corps is constructing     a rock-fill   dam, rather      than an arcli dam,
at the site of the Plew Meiones project      in Californicl.      Sir:! the Ccrps
made a more complete evaluation       of the design alternatives,         using
the Bureau's   expertise  in arch dam design,     it might have recognized
a possible   cost advantage in favor of the arch dam. which GAO esti-
mates to be about $9 million.       (See pp: 7 to 76.)

The Bureau generally       requires     the use of water-reducing   admixtures
on projects    involving     2,000 or more cubic yards of concrete,       whereas
the Corps of Engineers        restricts    their  use to unusual circumstances.
Water-reducing     admixtures      are organic   chemicals which can be added
to concrete mixtures       to improve their      characteristics.

The Bureau estimates        savings of $665,000 on three projects,      because
the use of admixtures        resulted  in a reduction   of the requirements
for cement.     Since the Bureau's       use of these admixtures   has resulted
in significant     savings,     the Corps should make greater    use of water-
reducing    admixtures   to achieve similar     savings on its projects.
(See pp. 77 to 19.)

Another area where improved coordination         could result  in savings in
construction    costs is outlet    works for embankment dams--structures
which permit controlled      releases   of water stored behind dams and in-
clude,    among other features 4 the gate structures      and conduits  which
convey the water through the dam.

The two agencies generally       construct   outlet    works of significantly
different    design.    Under the Bureau's    preferred     design,  the gate
structure    is located   in the dam itself.       This method provides       for
the use of a buried gate chamber.          The Corps prefers      to locate the
gate structure     in a separate   tower upstream of the dam.

The Corps' engineering  manual did not mention the buried chamber
method which the Bureau has found to be generally    more economical
than the tower method.   In view of the Bureau's experience,   the
Corps should develop procedures   for considering the buried gate
chamber in the design of embankment dams. (See pp. 20 to 22.)

In addition,     GAO found that significant     differences      existed   in the
design of conduits       for embankment dams. The conduits          designed by
the Bureau were usually       one of two shapes--circu7ar        and horseshoe.
The Corps has developed an oblong design which has been used for
conduits    under embankment dams, Savings of $100,000 or more have
been estimated     in every case where the oblong conduits           have been
used.    GAO found that the Bureau was unaware that the oblong de-
sign was being used by the Corps.         GAO believes      that the Bureau
should consider      oblong conduits   in their  designs for embankment
dams. (See pp. 23 to 24.)


                                      2
I


I
I   I          In still      another area, guidance was needed for evaluating            design
               alternatives.        The Bureau chose an unreinforced-concrete          lining
               for the San Luis Canal in California           rather    than a compacted-earth
               lining.       If the Bureau had given what GAO believes           to be proper con-
               sideration      to certain   cost factors   in evaluating      the design alterna-
               tives,     the analysis    would have shown a cost advantage of about
               $12 million       in favor of the earth lining       rather  than the concrete
               lining     chosen by the Bureau.       (See pp. 25 to 38.)

               GAO believes      also that the matters      discussed      in this report,     both
               with respect      to the type of dam for the New Melones project              and the
               type of lining       for the San Luis Canal9 indicate          a need to develop
               guidelines     setting     forth those factors,     including     those for making
               cost comparisons,        that are to be considered        in evaluating     design
               dl ternatives.




                GAO is recommending     that   the Secretary     of the Army and the Secre-
                tary of the Interior:

                   --Review     the coordination   and exchange of information     on water
                      resources    engineering   to ensure that both agencies (1) evalu-
                      ate and adopt, where practicable,       those procedures    and prac-
                      tices which most economically       meet their requirements       and
                      (2) make the most efficient      use of their  joint   capabilities.

                   --Require  the development  of guidelines     identifying        the techniques
                      to be used and the items of cost to be considered             to ensure ob-
                      jective evaluations  of design alternatives.

                GAO is also recommending that the Secretary     of the Army require  the
                Chief of Engineers  to develop written guidelines     and procedures for
                the purpose of improving  the Corps' capability    in the design and
                analysis  of arch dams.




                The Department of the Army agreed with GAO on the desirability                 of
                further   efforts    relating     to interdepartmental     coordination  and com-
                munications      on matters    pertaining     to design and construction   of
                water resources      projects,      including   guidelines  for cost evaluation
                of design alternatives.




        Tear   Sheet
A meeting    was   held   between




On November 2, 1370, the Bureau and the Corps entered 'ntr: a 'gritten
agreement to facilitate    the systematic   exchange of information     on de-
sign and construction   practices   employed by each other.      In addition 4
the Corps and the Bureau have issued instructions      on the administra-
tion of the agreement to their     various  off-ices.

This agreement,     if properly implemented,     could result   in siqnificant
future    savings through improved interdepartmental       coordination     and
communication     in the design and construction      of water resources
projects.

The Department      of the Interior        agreed that a formalized        exchanged of
design information        would be beneficial        to both agencies but advised
that written     procedures     for evaluating       design alternatives      were not
generally     considered     necessary     or appropriate.       (See p.61 .)     The
Department stated        that feasibility,       judgment,   economic experience,
new developments       and intangibles       are, in its opinion,       part of the
background considered         in rendering      an engineering     decision.     Recogniz-
ing that many considerations            enter into comparisons       of design alter-
natives,    GAO sees no reason why these factors,              along with the appro-
priate    economic considerations          and procedures,     should not be formalized
to ensure their       uniform   application      and evaluation     by appropriate    of-
ficials.

The Department       of the Army advised GAO that it is proceeding             with
the construction        of a rock-fill      dam because of (1) relatively        small
differences     in the cost of the two designs--rock-fill              and arch--in
relation     to the total     cost,    (2) the uncertainties     involved   which
could increase       the cost of an arch dam, and (3) the possible             delay in
project     completion    resulting     from shifting    to an alternate    design at
this time.      (See p* 58.)

The Corps agreed that water-reducing            admixtures    may be helpful       in
some of its projects       and to encourage their        consideration       the Corps
will   revise  its concrete    specifications.         (See p. 54.)      The Corps
also issued instructions       requiring,      under certain     conditions,     the
consideration      of buried gate chambers in the planning             and design
studies    of outlet   works for embankment dams.           (See p0 55.)

The Bureau    agreed to consider       oblong   conduits    in its   next   study   for   an
embankment    dam. (See p. 23.)




This report  is being submitted   to the Congress to ?:-Jvisc it of the sav-
inqs that could be achieved throuqh improved cooperation      in water re-                     I
sources engineering   by the Corps and the Bureau and of the actions     taken                 I
by the two agencies in implement ing GAO recommendat i ens,                                    I
                                                                                               I
                                                                                               I
                                        4                                                      I
                                                                                               I
                                                                                               I
                                                                                               I
                         Contents
                                                                 Page

DIGEST                                                             1

CHAPTER

  1       INTRODUCTION                                             5

  2       IMPROVEDCOORDINATIONNEEDEDIN DEVELOPMENT
          AND APPLICATION OF DESIGN PROCEDURES    AND
          PRACTICES                                                6
              Use of concrete arch dams                            6
                   New Melones project                             7
              GAO's comparison of costs between alter-
                native designs                                    13
              Use of water-reducing    admixtures                 17
                   Bureau's practices                             17
                   Corps' practices                               18
              Design of outlet works for embankment
                dams                                              20

  3       GUIDANCENEEDEDFOR EVALUATING DESIGN ALTER-
          NATIVES                                                 25
              Design of San Luis Canal                            25
                   Interest    during construction      not
                      considered                                  28
                   Questionable      judgments in analysis
                      and projection      of O&Mcosts             28
                   Inflation     factor for O&Mcosts              33
                   Invalid values assigned to water
                      lost through seepage and evapora-
                      tion                                        33
                   Questionable      decision   to construct a
                      concrete-lined      canal                   34

  4       AGENCYCOMMENTS
                       AND OUR EVALUATION THEREOF                 39

  5       CONCLUSIONSAND RECOMMENDATIONS                          44
             Conclusions                                          44
             Recommendations to the Secretary of the
               Army and the Secretary of the Interior             45

  6       SCOPEOF REVIEW                                          46
                                                                              Page
APPENDIX

         I   Letter   dated September 8, 1970, from                 the
                Special   Assistant     to the Secretary            of the
                Army (Civil     Functions),   Department            of the
                Army                                                          49

    II       Letter    dated September 18, 1970,               from the
                Director    of Survey and Review,              Department
                of the Interior                                                58

  III        Types     of dams                                                62

    IV       Principal   management            officials     responsible
                for administration             of activities      discussed
                in this report                                                64

                                     ABBREVIATIONS

c.f.s.       cubic     feet    per    second

GAO          General     Accounting       Office

O&M          operation        and maintenance
                                           OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE
                                           DEVELOPMENTAND EVALUATION OF DESIGN
                                           ALTERNATIVES FOR FEDERAL WATER
                                           RESOURCESPROJECTS
                                           Corps of Engineers    (Civil Functions)
                                           Department of the Army
                                           Bureau of Reclamation
                                           Department of the Interior     B-125045


DIGEST
---__-

WHY THE I??VIEW WAS MAD'

     Both the Bureau of Reclamation,        Department      of the Interior,   and the
     Corps of Engineers,     Department of the Army, plan, construct,            and
     operate similar    water resources     projects.      The General Accounting
     Office   (GAO) wanted to know whether certain           design practices   of the
     Bureau and the Corps for such projects--as            well as any differences
     in their   approaches to design--were        appropriate     and whether there
     was adequate coordination,       dissemination,      and documentation    of de-
     sign information     and techniques.


FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

     Differences   existed   in the design    procedures    and practices    of the
     two agencies.

     GAO concluded that substantial            savings could be achieved by improved
     coordination        and dissemination     of design information     and techniques
     provided      (1) differences      in design procedures     and practices   are
     identified       and evaluated     and (2) both agencies adopt, where practi-
     cable,     those procedures      and practices    which will   meet most economi-
     cally their       requirements.

     The following   matters examined and discussed   in this report          demon-
     strate   the need for improved coordination   and communication          between
     the Bureau and the Corps.

     The Bureau has made significant    progress   in the design and construc-
     tion of arch dams which,    under certain   conditions,  have significant
     advantages over other types of dams. The Corps built         two small arch
     dams in California  about 30 years ago but no others.

     GAO believes that the Corps has not kept abreast    of the technological
     advancements in arch dam design to the same degree as the Bureau.
     The Corps has no published   criteria to assist its engineers   in the
     design and analysis  of arch dams. The Corps may have constructed
lCl^fjW      C:d,liS    Of        OT’1er’   tVPf?S    at certain  locations where an arch dam'
illi @It   1i ;: V Cl ‘J P e ?I    il'ork? suitable      and might have cost less    (See pp.    '
6 tu 7.)

The Corps -is constructing    a rock-fill   dam, rather than an arch dam,
at the site of the Yew Melones project       in California.    Had the Corps
made a more complete evaluation       of the design alternat i ves , using
the Sureau's expertise     in arch dam design,    it might have recognized
a possible  cost advantage in favor of the arch dam, which GAO esti-
mates to be about $9 million.       (See pp: 7 to 16.)

The Bureau general1.y requires          the use of water-reducing   admixtures
on projects    involving     2,000 or more cubic yards of concrete,       whereas
the Corps of Engineers        restricts    their  use to unusual circumstances.
Water-reducing     admixtures      are organic   chemicals which can be added
to concrete    mixtures    to improve their      characteristics.

The Bureau estimates        savings of $665,000 on three projects,       because
the use of admixtures        resulted   in a reduction   of the requirements
for cement.     Since the Bureau's        use of these admixtures   has resulted
in significant     savings,     the Corps should make greater     use of water-
reducing    admixtures    to achieve similar     savings on its projects.
(See pp. 17 to 19.)

Another area where improved coordination          could result  in savings in
construction    costs is outlet    works for embankment dams--structures
which permit controlled      releases   of water stored behind dams and in-
clude,    among other features,     the gate structures    and conduits  which
convey the water through the dam.

The two agencies generally        construct   outlet     works of significantly
different    design.    Under the Bureau's     preferred      design,  the gate
structure    is located   in the dam itself.         This method provides       for
the use of a buried gate chamber.           The Corps prefers       to locate the
gate structure      in a separate   tower upstream of the dam.

The Corps' engineering  manual did not mention the buried chamber
method which the Bureau has found to be generally    more economical
than the tower method.   In view of the Bureau's experience,    the
Corps should develop procedures   for considering the buried gate
chamber in the design of embankment dams. (See pp. 20 to 22.)

In addition,     GAO found that significant    differences      existed   in the
design of conduits       for embankment dams. The conduits         designed by
the Bureau were usually       one of two shapes--circular       and horseshoe.
The Corps has developed an oblong design which has been used for
conduits    under embankment dams. Savings of $100,000 or more have
been estimated     in every case where the oblong conduits          have been
used.    GAO found that the Bureau was unaware that the oblong de-
sign was being used by the Corps.         GAO believes     that the Bureau
should consider      oblong conduits  in their   designs for embankment
dams.    (See pp. 23 to 24.)
    In still      another   area, guidance was needed for evaluating           design
    alternatives.         The Bureau chose an unreinforced-concrete          lining
    for the San Luis Canal in California            rather    than a compacted-earth
    lining.       If the Bureau had given what GAO believes            to be proper con-
    sideration      to certain    cost factors   in evaluating      the design alterna-
    tives,     the analysis     would have shown a cost advantage of about
    $12 million       in favor of the earth lining        rather  than the concrete
    lining     chosen by the Bureau,        (See pp. 25 to 38.)

    GAO believes     also that the matters      discussed      in this report,     both
    with respect     to the type of dam for the New Melones project              and the
    type of lining      for the San Luis Canal, indicate          a need to develop
    guidelines    setting     forth those factors,     including      those for making
    cost comparisons,       that are to be considered        in evaluating     design
    alternatives.


RECOMiVENDATIONSOR SUGGESTIONS

     GAO is recommending     that   the Secretary    of the Army and the Secre-
     tary of the Interior:

       --Review     the coordination   and exchange of information         on water
          resources    engineering   to ensure.that     both agencies (1) evalu-
          ate and adopt, where practicable,         those procedures      and prac-
          tices which most economically       meet their     requirements       and
          (2) make the most efficient       use of their     joint   capabilities.

       --Require  the development  of guidelines     identifying        the techniques
          to be used and the items of cost to be considered             to ensure ob-
          jective evaluations  of design alternatives.

     GAO is also recommending that the Secretary    of the Army require  the
     Chief of Engineers to develop written  guidelines    and procedures for
     the purpose of improving the Corps' capability    in the design and
     analysis  of arch dams.


AGENCY ACTIOi??SAND UNRESOLVEDISSUES

     The Department of the Army agreed with GAO on the desirability                 of
     further   efforts    relating     to interdepartmental     coordination  and com-
     munications      on matters    pertaining     to design and construction   of
     water resources      projects,      including   guidelines  for cost evaluation
     of design alternatives.




                                           3
     A meeting was held between the Corps and the Bureau on July 27, 1970,
     to establish the framework for expanded procedures in accordance with
     GAO's recommendation.   (See p. 60.)

     On November 2, 1970, the Bureau and the Corps entered        into a written
     agreement to facilitate    the systematic   exchange of information     on de-
     sign and construction   practices   employed by each other.      In addition,
     the Corps and the Bureau have issued instructions      on the administra-
     tion of the agreement to their     various  offices.

     This agreement,     if properly implemented,     could result   in significant
     future    savings through improved interdepartmental       coordination     and
     communication     in the design and construction      of water resources
     projects.

     The Department of the Interior           agreed that a formalized        exchanged of
     design information       would be beneficial       to both agencies but advised
     that written     procedures    for evaluating      design alternatives      were not
     generally    considered     necessary    or appropriate.       (See p.61 .)     The
     Department stated that feasibility,            judgment,   economic experience,
     new developments      and intangibles      are, in its opinion,        part of the
     background considered        in rendering     an engineering     decision.     Recogniz-
     ing that many considerations          enter into comparisons       of design alter-
     natives,    GAO sees no reason why these factors,            along with the appro-
     priate    economic considerations        and procedures,     should not be formalized
     to ensure their      uniform   application     and evaluation     by appropriate    of-
     ficials.

     The Department of the Army advised GAO that it is proceeding                   with
     the construction        of a rock-fill      dam because of (1) relatively        small
     differences     in the cost of the two designs--rock-fill              and arch--in
     relation     to the total     cost,    (2) the uncertainties     involved   which
     could increase       the cost of an arch dam, and (3) the possible             delay in
     project     completion    resulting     from shifting    to an alternate    design at
     this time.       (See p. 58.)

    The Corps agreed that water-reducing           admixtures    may be helpful      in
    some of its projects      and to encourage their        consideration      the Corps
    will   revise  its concrete   specifications.         (See p. 54.)      The Corps
    also issued instructions      requiring,      under certain    conditions,     the
    consideration     of buried gate chambers in the planning and design
    studies    of outlet  works for embankment dams.          (See p. 55.)

    The Bureau     agreed to consider      oblong   conduits   in its   next   study   for   an
    embankment     dam. (See p. 23.)


MATTERS FOR COFJSIDERATIONBY THE CONGRESS

    This report  is being submitted  to the Congress to advise it of the sav-
    ings that could be achieved through improved cooperation    in water re-
    sources engineering  by the Corps and the Bureau and of the actions    taken
    by the two agencies in implementing    GAO recommendations,
                                 CHAPTER1

                              INTRODUCTION

       The General Accounting Office has reviewed selected
policies    and procedures of the Bureau of Reclamation,  De-
partment of the Interior,     and the Corps of Engineers (Civil
Functions),    Department of the Army, for the design and con-
struction    of water resources projects.   The scope of our
review is discussed in chapter 6.

      The Bureau is authorized,     pursuant to the Reclamation
Act of 1902 (43 U.S,C. 391 et seq.), to plan, construct,
and operate and maintain works for the storage, diversion,
and development of waters for the reclamation         of arid and
semiarid lands in 17 Western States.        In carrying   out its
work, the Bureau designs and constructs       storage and diver-
sion dams, water distribution      systems, pumping plants,
hydroelectric-generating     plants and other related struc-
tures on its water development projects.

         The Corps' responsibilities          include both civil      and
military     functions     within the Department of-the Army. A
primary civil       function     of the Corps is the administration
and discharge of those responsibilities               of the Department
of the Army pertaining           to navigation     and flood control ac-
tivities     of the United States.          The Corps' civil      works pro-
gram inc+des        administration      of matters pertaining        to con-
struction,      regulation,      and maintenance of navigation,          flood
control     and multiple-purpose        projeets.                                c
                                             c
         The Corps' appropriation        for construction      for fiscal
years 1969 and 1970 averaged about $800 million                  and the
Bureau's appropriation           for the same period averaged about
$160 million.         The combined construction        appropriation       for
both agencies for fiscal            year 1971 is approximately         $1 bil-
lion.

     The principal    officials responsible for administration
of activities   discussed in this report are listed   in appen-
dix IV.
                             CHAPTER2

                 IMPROVEDCOORDINATIONNEEDEDIN

                DEVELCPMENT
                          AND APPLICATION OF

                DESIGN PROCEDURES
                                AND PRACTICES

       The Corps and the Bureau have made outstanding        techni-
cal contributions     toward the development of water resources
projects.     Although the two agencies construct      and operate
similar projects,     we found that substantial   differences     ex-
isted in their design procedures and practices.          In certain
instances,    the reasons for the differences   were attributable
to technological     improvements by one agency, which were (1)
unknown to the other agency or (2) known, but not imple-
mented by the other agency.

       We believe that savings in the costs of constructing
water resources projects       could be realized  through better
coordination     and dissemination   of design information     and
techniques between the Corps and the Bureau to ensure that
 (1) differences    in design procedures and practices      are prop-
erly identified     and the merits of each carefully      evaluated
and (2) both agencies adopt, where practicable,         those pro-
cedures and practices      which will meet most economically
their requirements.

       Some of the design procedures and practices  examined
into during our review are discussed in the following     sec-
tions of this chapter and relate to the (1) design and con-
struction   of concrete arch dams, (2) use of concrete admix-
tures, and (3) design of outlet works for embankment dams.

USE OF CONCRETEARCH DAMS

      The Bureau has made significant    progress in the design
and construction    of arch dams and has constructed     arch dams
on several of its projects.      Under certain conditions,      the
construction    of an arch dam is less expensive and provides
a greater margin of safety against structural      failure    than
any other type of dam. Descriptions      of the three most com-
mon types of dams, embankment (rock-fill      or earth fill),
concrete gravity,    and concrete arch, are included as appen-
dix III.
                                 6
      We found that the Corps has not constructed   arch dams
(except for two small dams built    in California about 30
years ago) and that the Corps has no published criteria     to
assist its engineers in the design and analysis    of arch dams.
A typical   arch dam is shown in the photograph on the follow-
ing page.

        The Corps has not kept abreast of the technological           ad-
vancements in arch dam design to the same degree as the Bu-
reau, and, on the basis of our review, we believe that the
Corps may have constructed      larger embankment or concrete-
gravity-type    dams at certain     locations    where an arch dam
might have been more suitable        and might have been constructed
at less cost.     The following     case illustrates      the savings
that may have been realized       if an arch dam rather than a
rock-fill    dam would have been constructed         by the Corps at
the New Melones project      in California.

New Melones project
       In 1966 the Corps selected a rock-fill        embankment dam
for the New Melones project.         We believe,  however, that this
decision was made without adequately considering           all perti-
nent factors,    including    the Bureau's expertise     in arch dam
design.    On the basis of current information,        we believe
also that the construction       of an arch dam for the New
Melones project would cost about $8.7 million          less than the
presently   planned rock-fill     structure.

      The New Melones Reservoir was authorized          by the Flood
Control Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 887) and modified by the Flood
Control Act of 1962 (76 Stat. 1191).         The project    provides
for the construction     of a rock-fill    dam about 600-feet high
on the Stanislaus    River.    The dam will create a reservoir
with a gross storage capacity of 2,400,OOO acre-feet            of
water for flood control,     irrigation,    hydroelectric     power,
recreation,   and fish and wildlife      enhancement purposes.

       On the basis of examinations    of the site conditions       and
the Corps' Sacramento district     design studies,      the Corps'
consultants    concluded that a safe dam could be constructed
with any one of three different     designs--rock-fill,      gravity,
or arch.     At a meeting between the Corps and their consul-
tants on August 30, 1966, a rock-fill       dam was unanimously
selected for the New Melones project.
                                     7
x
     A cost comparison used during      the consultant's     meeting
showed the following  costs.

                       Rock-fill         Concrete         Concrete
                          dam            arch dam      gravity   dam

                                       (000 omitted)
Dams                    $54,500          $58,020           $63,180
Power plant               1,190            1,035             1,840
Access roads                 850              545               600
Engineering    and
  design                   3,110           3,290             3,620
Supervision    and
  administration           4,150           4,410             4,860

    Total   (note a)    $63,800          $67,300           $74,100

aThese estimates were based on costs of project  items which
 would vary among the three types.and did not cover common
 items.   The consultants did not review common costs because
 they would not affect the decision on the type of dam to be
 built.

       Although the cost study showed that the rock-fill       dam
had a cost advantage of about $3.5 million        over an arch dam,
Corps officials    pointed out during the meeting that certain
estimated costs of the rock-fill       dam were expected to in-
crease, whereas certain     estimated costs of the arch dam were
expected to decrease.      The consultants   concluded, however,
that the rock-fill     dam would be the most economical.      This
decision was based primarily      on their assumption that:

      I'*** it is more likely  for the arch dam to ex-
      perience a significant   increase in cost *** due
      to unforeseen foundation    conditions."

     The Office of the Chief of Engineers approved the type
of dam determination     but made the following comment regard-
ing the failure    to recognize the expected changes in costs:

      "The recommended rockfill  type of dam is satis-
      factory.  However, the design memorandum does not
      recognize the expected significant  decrease in

                                   9
       arch dam thickness    and cost and the increase   in
       steel tunnel   lining     the rockfill
                                   iii        dam, which
       were poiinted  out (3t the August 1966 meeting."

        The Corps'    Sacramento  district      replied    that information
presented    at the meet. i-15 with the consultants           indicated    that
the estimated      volume oi: concrete     in the arch dam might have
been reduced as much as 5 percent            if a different        or more
complete    method of analysis     had been used for evaluating              the
arch dam but that the more complete            method of analysis        had
not been used because of the excessive               amount of design time
required.

      The Sacramento District     Office  noted            that,     in addition
to the $3.5 million  cost advantage      of the            rock-fill     dam,
there were other possible     costs unfavorable               to the arch dam,
such as:

       "(1)   more extensive      provisions      to control     uplift
              and seepage through         the abutments       by pre-
              stressing   the foundation,         constructing      a
              fool-proof    drainage      system,   and providing
              more extensive      grouting     of the foundation;
              and

      "(?->   possible   significant       change orders       due to
              unforeseen    foundation      conditions.s'

       It was the district?s            opinion     that these possible     addi-
tional     costs of constructing           the arch dam when added to the
estimated        $3.5 million    advantage       of the rock-fill      dam would
be equal to or greater          than the possible           cost considera-
tions    favoring       the arch dam, which had not been evaluated
in detail        by the consultants--the          increased     cost of the
tunnel     lining     for the rock-fill         dam and the reduced cost of
concrete       for the arch dam.

      Our examination       of project   records     showed that in July
1968 the estimated       cost of the steel       tunnel   lining   and
other modifications       to the outlet     works and the estimated
cost of the foundation         for the rock-fill       dam had increased
by $7.6 million,      about $4.1 million        more than the estimated
cost advantage      of the rock-fill     dam as had been presented
in the dam selection        studies.    The estimated       cost of the
proposed rock-fill        dam had increased   to $72.4 million or
about $18 million        more than the estimate   in the 1966 stud-
ies.

        In contrast    to the rising    estimated   cost of the rock-
fill    dam, the estimated      cost of an arch dam was substan-
tially    less than that estimated       in the 1966 studies.     Using
the Bureau's      November 1966 Engineering       Monograph No. 36
"Guide for Preliminary         Design of Arch Dams," we computed the
quantity     of concrete    for an arch dam for New Melones at
about 1,443,OOO cubic yards,          or 552,000 cubic yards less than
the amount estimated        by the Corps.

        On the basis of unit prices            contained      in the 1966 stud-
ies,    such  a reduction      represented      a  $9  million     decrease in
costs or about a 28-percent             decrease     in the volume of con-
crete which was far greater             than the 5-percent         decrease men-
tioned    at the consultantss         meeting.       Further,    the Bureau in-
formed us that the use of the method presented                     in their
monograph generally        yields     conservative       values    and that com-
puter analysis      generally      provides     an even lower quantity        es-
timate.

        We brought       this matter   to the attention          of the Corps by
letter     dated July 18, 1969, and we suggested                 that a reassess-
ment be made of the possible             construction         of an arch dam for
the New Melones project.             We suggested         also that to expedite
this assessment          the Corps arrange      to use the Bureau's          com-
puter    facility      in Denver,    Colorado.       We also advised       the
Corps that we did not believe              that comparative         design and
cost determinations           should be unduly        influenced     by unforeseen
conditions        which had not been evaluated              as had been the case
during     the 1966 studies.

         In response      to our suggestions        the Corps'    Sacramento
district      prepared     new comparative      cost estimates       for both
types of dams.          The estimates       at that time showed 'I***       a
potential      cost advantage        of the arch dam over the rockfill
dam in the order of $11,600,000."                 In view of this signifi-
cant cost advantage            of the arch dam over the rock-fill           dam,
the Sacramento        district      proposed   a two-phase     program to re-
study the type of dam that should be constructed.



                                        11
        The first     phase provided        for the utilization         of the
&u-eauvs computer         facilities,       as suggested        in our letter       of
July 18, 1969, in developing               a comparative        cost estimate       for
the concrete       arch dam essentially           without     further   field     in-
vestigation.        The second phase provided              for the exploration
and testing       necessary       to develop    the foundation        conditions.
The restudy       was initiated       in September        1969 and was to con-
tinue     as long as it appeared that the construction                    of an
arch dam had an indicated             cost advantage.

        The Chief of Engineers,       by letter dated March 2, 1970,
advised    us that the first      phase of the restudy     had been com-
pleted    and he provided    us with the revised     estimated   con-
struction    cost of both types of dams excluding          all common
items.     The estimated    costs were $90,720,000      for the rock-
fill    dam and $85,050,000     for the arch dam--a savings      of
$5,670,000    in favor of the arch dam.

       With       regard   to further    studies,     the    Chief   of Engineers
advised:

       "If these type-of-dam           studies    were continued       into
      a more detailed         phase,     it would involve      additional
      field    investigations        of the foundation       for the
      arch,    and refinement        of the arch dam analyses.
       *** However, after         reviewing     the results     of the
      studies     completed     to date and a careful          considera-
      tion of all involved           factors,     I have decided       to
      terminate      further    studies      of the type of dam and
      to proceed with the design and construction                    of a
      rockfill     dam at the New Melones site.              The bases
      for this     decision     are as follow:"

              *              J;           *              *              *



      99b0 By proceeding     now with the rockfill     dam we
           will   avoid a 2-year    delay in award of the next
           major construction     contract    and at least  a
           l-year   delay in completion     of the project.   ***

      9’C D   We will  also provide   flood   protection     and
              other benefits   one year earlier.       *** A one-
              year delay in project     completion     would cause
              a total  loss of about $10,000,000         in benefits,

                                          13
             including    flood     control,     irrigation,      power
             and recreation."

              *              >‘k           *               Jr           *


       "In summary, the comparative           cost estimates      indi-
       cate that the relatively          small difference       in cost
       between the two types of dam is well within                the
       order of accuracy        of the estimates.        Furthermore,
       the possible      savings    in cost which might result
       from more detailed        studies   of the arch dam are
       not nearly    large enough to justify          the delay in
       project   completion      with the resulting       delay in
       project   benefits."

      Subsequent   to providing us with its views on this mat-
ter, the Corps, in June 1970, awarded a contract     for about
$26 million   for construction  of the diversion  and outlet
works for a rock-fill      dam.

        We believe    that the Corps did not give adequate                 con-
sideration      to all appropriate           factors   in developing     the re-
vised estimated       construction         costs,    and, as a result,      the
cost advantage      of constructing            the arch dam over the rock-
fill    dam was understated         significantly.        The basis    for our
conclusion      is contained      in the following        sections.

GAO's comparison        of costs     between     alternative      designs

       The Corps'        studies     acknowledged        a comparative     cost ad-
vantage of the arch dam over the rock-fill                      dam of about
$5.7 million.          The Corps'       comparative       cost estimates,      how- '
ever,    did not include          certain     costs which had the effect            of
minimizing       the cost advantage           of constructing        an arch dam.
For example,        the Corps limited           its comparison       to construc-
tion costs and did not consider                   the cost of interest        during
construction        which,     in our opinion,         should be considered         in
evaluating       the feasibility          of alternative       designs.     Had in-
terest     during     construction        been considered,       the comparative
cost estimates         would have shown that the arch dam would have
been about $8.7 million              less rather       than $5.7 million       less
than the estimated            cost of a rock-fill          dam.




                                           13
        The following     schedule      shows our adjustment      to the
corps s estimated      construction       costs in arriving     at the cost
advantage     of S&,7 million       that would result       from the con-
struction     of an arch dam,         In computing   the interest      during
construction,       we used an interest        rate of 4-7/8 percent--the
rate established       by the Water Resources        Council    for fiscal
year 1970.

                                                      Rock-fill            Arch

                                                           (000 omitted)

 Corps'   estimated     construction     costs
   excluding      all common items                     $ 90,720       $85,050
 GAO's adjustment       for interest     during
   construction       based on a 6-year pe-
   riod for the arch dam and a 7-year
   period     for the rock-fill      dam                 15,479        12,439

      Total                                           $106,199        $97,489

      Arch    dam advantage                                           $ 8,710

        The Corps'      estimate     of the cost of the arch dam in-
 cludes design       costs of about $4 million          that were incurred
 previously    for    the development         of the design for the rock-
 fill   dam. We      believe     that the inclusion       of these costs,
 although   being     justified,      further    demonstrates    the obvious
 cost advantage       of the arch dam.

      A factor    which we believe     should have been considered
in evaluating     design alternatives     was anticipated      operation
and maintenance      (O&M) costs.     The annual estimated      O&M costs
for a roc'k-fill    dam are $150,500,     whereas the annual esti-
mated O&N costs of an arch dam are $116,900.              Since O&M costs
will  be incurred     over the project    life,  we believe     that they
are significant     and should have been considered          by the Corps
in ma'king its decision      on the type of dam to be constructed.

         Another   factor   which had a significant       impact on the
relative      cost of the design alternatives        was the contingency
allowance      for possible     unforeseen conditions.        In developing
the cost estimates        for the 1966 studies,       the Corps added
20 percent       to the cost of both dams as a contingency           allow-
ance.      The Corps! cost comparison      resulting     from its restudy
                                       14
contained a 20-percent   contingency allowance for many of the
arch dam's features but only a lo-percent    contingency    allow-
ance for the rock-fill   dam, This added contingency     allow-
ance results   in about a $4 million penalty being assessed
against the arch dam. The reason given for using a higher
contingency  for the arch dam was because 'I*** no further
work has been done to refine the design, since the type of
dam decision was made in October 1966."

       When we compared the Corps' recent cost estimates for
the arch dam with those made in October 1966, we found that
significant   "increases"    had been made to the estimates for
certain major items of the arch dam, but no corresponding
decreases had been made in the contingency        allowance for
these items,     Although we are not in a position      to recom-
mend an alternative     contingency  allowance,   we believe that
the use of a ZO-percent contingency       allowance for certain
arch dam items, in view of the design changes that have
taken place, was not justified.

        The Corps advised us that by'proceeding     now with the
rock-fill    dam it would avoid a 2-year delay in the award of
the next major construction      contract  and at least a l-year
delay in the completion of the project.        On the basis of an
evaluation    of construction   periods for comparable arch dams,
we believe that the Corps' estimate of the construction          pe-
riod for the arch dam at New Melones is conservative,         and
that a construction      period of about 3 or 4 years rather than
6 years would be more representative       for a project   of this
size.

       For example, the larger arch dam recently     completed at
New Bullards Bar by the State of California       was constructed
in about 3-l/2 years.       Although we recognize that a change
to an arch dam would result       in a delay in the start of con-
struction,    we believe that an arch dam would provide flood
control    and other benefits    no later than the currently   pro-
posed rock-fill     dam.

        We recognize that the foundation   conditions,    which the
Corps     contends were an unknown factor,  would play a major
part    in determining   the final cost of constructing     an arch
dam.      In December 1969, however, a consulting     Geologist   ad-
vised     the Corps on the extent of the exploration     and testing

                                    15
that would be necessary          to determine the foundation        condi-
tions.      We believe    that the potential    savings    involved,      had
it been recognized        by the Corps at an earlier       date, justified
further     exploration     of the foundation   conditions     before     the
final    decision     had been made as to the type of dam to be
constructed.




                                      16
USE OF WATER-REDUCING
                    ADMIXTURES

        Water-reducing     admixtures are organic chemicals which
can be added to concrete mixtures to improve their charac-
teristics.       For example, they can improve the workability
of the mixture and permit production           of very high-strength
concrete which is generally          desirable  in constructing    large
structures.       Water-reducing     admixtures also permit required
strength to be obtained although using less cement in the
concrete.

       The Bureau has used water-reducing    admixtures in its
various projects,     whereas the Corps has made limited use of
such admixtures.      Since the Bureau's use of these admixtures
has resulted    in significant   savings, we believe that the
Corps should make greater use of these admixtures to achieve
similar   savings on its projects.

Bureau's     practices
       The Bureau's first      large scale use of water-reducing
admixtures was during the construction            of the Glen Canyon
Dam (1957-64).       Admixtures were not included in the Bureau's
specifications,      but the contractor    requested,      and was
granted, permission to use them. After using admixtures
successfully      on this and other projects,       the Bureau revised
its concrete specifications         and generally     required their use
on projects     involving   2,000 or more cubic yards of concrete.

       The Bureau furnished us with estimates of the savings
resulting   from the use of admixtures on three projects,  as
shown below,

                                Savings per         Total savings
           Project               cubic yard         (000 omitted)
   Glen Canyon Dam                  $0.06                 $240
   Morrow Point Dam                    .48                 173
   San Luis Canal                      .19                 252




                                   17
The savings    obtained      varied   because the specific     effects    of
admixtures    can vary      with the type,    quantity,   and properties
of the cement used.          Other variables,     such as temperature,
may also necessitate         an adjustment    in the proportions       of
the admixture    used.

Corps'    practices

         In contrast      to the Bureau's      policy,      the Corps' manual
on concrete       practices     states    that the use of water-reducing
admixtures      will     (1) be approached      with caution       and (2) be
restricted      to unusual      circumstances       requiring    the approval
of the Chief of Engineers.

        The Corps'    procedures     provide    that the use of an ad-
mixture    may be approved       when requested      by a contractor  if
an evaluation      shows it to be economically          beneficial.   The
procedures    provide     also that the requesting        contractor  must
bear the cost of evaluating            the admixture    and that if the
evaluation    shows a savings        the contractor     is given a por-
tion of the net savings          (usually    half).

        Although     the Corps has had some limited              experience     in
the use of water-reducing              admixtures     (on one project       the
Corps'     estimated      savings    in cementitious       materials     of about
$132,000),       it appears that,        in many cases, the potential
savings may be too low to provide                 an incentive      to the con-
tractor     to make the evaluation            study.    We noted that such
studies     are required       even though the same admixture             had
been similarly         studied    and qualified      on past projects.

        When questioned       about their     reluctance     to use water-
reducing     admixtures,      the Corps' Washington         Office   advised
us that for the type of concrete              customarily      used for navi-
gation    locks and low-height          dams the cement content        was
already     so low that further         cost reductions      from the use of
admixtures     were insufficient         to cover the cost of the ad-
mixtures.      The Corps advised         us also that small jobs may
not justify      the expense of testing.            We agree that for cer-
tain types of concrete           the Corps may have reduced the ce-
ment requirement         to a point     where admixtures       would not have
been warranted.         We believe,      however,    that,   in some cases,
Corps' projects       include      enough concrete      with a cement con-
tent to justify       the specification        of admixtures.
      Officials within the Corps' North Pacific  Division
advised us that savings would probably be available     through
the use of admixtures whenever a comparatively   rich struc-
tural concrete was being placed.

        We reviewed three    Corps' projects   in the North Pacific
Division,     and, in each   case, we found that the quantity     and
quality    of concrete as    shown below would have, in our opin-
ion, justified     the use   of water-reducing   admixtures.

                                       Estimated structural
                                            concrete used
               Pro-ject                     (cubic yards)

       Lower Monumental                         285,500
       John Day Lock and Dam                    967,500
       Little Goose                             360,000

           Total                              1,613,OOO

       We believe that substantial       savings could have been
achieved if water-reducing        admixtures had been specified
in the contract   for these projects.         We also noted another
project,   Lower Granite, where the use of about 360,000 cu-
bic yards of structural       concrete had been planned.       Because
we believed that substantial        savings could have resulted
from the use of admixtures in this case, we discussed the
matter with Division     officials.      Subsequently,    we noted
that the bid document for this project          specified   admixtures
as a separate bid item.
       It appears to us that the use of water-reducing          admix-
tures would be equally applicable        to Corps' projects     as
well as to Bureau projects.       In commenting on our draft re-
port 9   the  Corps agreed  that water-reducing     admixtures may
be helpful     in some of their structural     concrete,    and stated
that to encourage their consideration         a paragraph on water-
reducing admixtures will be included in its forth coming
revision     of the Standard Guide Specifications        for Concrete.




                                  19
     DESIGN OF OUTLET WORKS FOR EMBAN-KH~NT DAJYiS
          We believe that savings in construction        costs could be
    achieved through improved coordination     between the Corps
    and Bureau in the design of outlet works for future embank-
    ment dams. A typical     embankment dam is shown in the photo-
    graph on the following     page. At present the two agencies
    generally  construct   outlet works of significantly      different
    design.
           Cutlet works are the structures  which permit controlled
i   releases of water stored behind dams and include,      among
i   other features,    control gates for normal operation,   emer-
    gency gates, access ways to the gates, and conduits which
    convey the water through the dam.
           Under the Bureau's preferred  design, the gate struc-
    ture is located in the dam itself     (see diagram A, p. 22).
    This method provides for the use of a buried gate chamber.
    The Corps, on the other hand, prefers to locate the gate
    structure   in a separate tower upstream of the dam (see dia-
    gram B, p. 22).
             The upstream tower method requires construction             of a
      separate structure      and a service bridge connecting the
      structure     to the dam or an abutment.       This separate struc-
     ture must be constructed        to withstand    ice pressures if the
     dam is located in a cold climate.
             We found that the Corps' engineering         manual "Struc-
     tural Design of Spillways and Cutlet WorksBV9did not mention
     the buried chamber method which the Bureau 'has found to be
     generally     more economical than the tower method.            The Corps,
    however, has used the buried chamber method occasionally,
    justifying       it on the basis of either lower cost or added
     safety.
            We discussed this matter with the Corps and suggested
    that, in view of the Bureau's experience,             the Corps should
    develop procedures for considering           the buried gate chamber
    in the design of future embankment dams. In response to
    our suggestion,       the Corps issued an Engineering          Technical
    Letter      (ETL 1110-z-84)   which requires,     under certain condi-
    tions,     such as potential    earthquake activity,        the consider-
    ation of buried, hemispherical          gate control     structures    in
    the planning and design studies of outlet works for embank-
    ment dams.

                                        20
z
0-
 I-




      3cu:
      Y0
                                                                                               EMBANKMENT              DAM




-       --
    -        -        r-
                 -            WATER




                                                                                                                                                            UIT




                     DIAGRAM              A - An       embankment          dom   with     B buried       gate   chamber.          Access       to   the
                     gate      chamber          can    be provided        by a vesticol        shaft      or thlougk       the    downstream
                     opening           of the    conduit.




                               GATE       TOWER




                     DIAGRAM             B - An        embankment         dam    with     a gote       tower.    Access          to the    gote     tower
                     is     provided       by    the    service      bridge.
       In addition to the differences  in the overall     design
of outlet works, we noted significant    differences    existed
in the design of conduits for embankment dams.        The  con-
duits designed by the Bureau were usually one of two
shapes-- circular  or horseshoe (see p, 24).      The Corps has
developed an oblong design (see p. 24) whic'h has been used
for conduits under embankment dams ranging from 100 to 160
feet in height.    Savings of $100,000 or more have been es-
timated in every case where the oblong conduits have been
used.    In commenting on our draft report,    the Corps ad-
vised us that the use of oblong conduits is also intended,
and will provide greater economy, in dams higher than 160
feet.

       We found that the Bureau was unaware that the oblong
design was being used by the Corps. After bringing          this
matter to the Bureau's attention       and providing  information
available    from the Corps, the Bureau advised us that its
next feasibility     study for an embankment dam would take
into consideration      the oblong design for conduits.




                                23
                                                                    c




                    CIRCULAR       S ECTlON




                               %
                                                  -   .   :.   y-



                                              OBLONG SECTION
HORSESHOE SECTION



                    CONDUlT        SECTIONS




                                   24
.



                                   CHARTER3

                     GUIDANCENEEDEDFOR EVALUATING

                             DESIGN ALTERNATIVES

    DESIGN OF SAN LUIS CANAL

           We believe that the Bureau exercised questionable              judg-
    ment in its analysis for comparing the costs of a compacted-
    earth lining     with the costs of a 4-l/Z-inch-thick
    unreinforced-concrete         lining   for the San Luis Canal.      If the
    Bureau had given what we believe to be proper consideration
    to certain    cost factors        in evaluating   the design alternatives,
    the analysis would have shown that the earth lining              would
    cost about $1'2 million         less than the concrete lining      chosen
    by the Bureau.       We believe that the Bureau's analysis          could
    have been prepared in a more appropriate             manner if the Bu-
    reau had clearer      instructions       on making cost comparisons
    when construction       alternatives      were being considered.
            The San Luis Canal is the major conveyance facility            of
    the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley project             of California.
    The San Luis Unit was authorized       for construction        in June
    1960 (74 Stat. 156) as a separate Federal project              or a joint
    Federal-State     project.   In December 1961 the United States,
    through the Bureau of Reclamation,        and the State of Califor-
    nia agreed to the construction      of joint-use     facilities,
    The principal     purposes of the San Luis Unit include furnish-
    ing irrigation     water to about 579,000 acres of land in Cal-
    ifornia    and providing   a link in the State's conveyance sys-
    tem to furnish water from northern California           to areas of
    need in southern California.

           The December 1961 agreement provided that the Bureau
    design and construct        the joint-use facilities   and that the
    State pay 55 percent of the total cost of construction.            The
    agreement provided also that at the completion of construc-
    tion the State assume the operation         and maintenance of the
    joint-use   facilities      and that the Bureau and the State each
    pay an equitable       share of the cost,

           The San Luis Canal is one of several joint-use facili-
    ties   in the San Luis Unit.  The canal is about 100 miles

                                        2.5
iong and consists        of five reaches         or sections.       During the
design of the San Luis Canal,               the Bureau gave serious          consid-
eration    to three different           types of lining:        (1) buried      mem-
brane,    (2) compacted        earth,     and (3) unreinforced       concrete.
The buried      membrane lining         appeared    to be the least       suitable
and was dismissed        quite     early    from further     consideration.
Detailed     studies   and comparative          economic estimates        were
concentrated       on earth-lined         and concrete-lined       canal sec-
tions.

        In reaching         the decision      to line    the canal with con-
crete     rather     than earth,       the Bureau prepared       three studies
for comparing          the incremental       or additional      costs of con-
structing        one alternative        with the other.        The first    study
in June 1961 showed a cost advantage                   of about $8.7 million
in favor       of using earth.           The second, prepared       later   the
same year,        showed a cost advantage           of about $12.3 million
or $15.6 million            in favor of using earth         (depending    on
whether       or not seepage losses          were included).        The third
study,      prepared      in August 1962, showed a cost advantage               of
about $2.5 million             in favor    of using concrete.

        The third        study was based primarily           on the earlier
 studies,      but differed        in that it included         some additional
O&M costs for an earth-lined                canal as compared to a concrete-
lined     canal,     and it contained        the results       of additional   en-
gineering        studies.       Also the third      study covered only the
last    four reaches         (about 82 miles)       of the canalvs        five
reaches      (about      100 miles),     because in October        1961 the Bu-
reau and the State had tentatively                  agreed to line        the
first     reach with concrete.            The third     study also applied      to
O&M costs         an inflation       and cost-trend       factor   which was not
included       in the earlier        Bureau studies.

     Our evaluation         of   the   report      prepared      by the Bureau
showed:

       1. Interest      during    construction           was not     considered.

       2. Questionable judgments                in the    analysis     and projec-
          tion of O&M costs.




                                         26
          3. Invalid values assigned                   to water      lost     through       seep-
             age and evaporation,
Each of these items was an influencing          factor in the deci-
sion to construct     a canal with a concrete lining       rather
than an earth lining,        In addition,   the  Bureau  added  an in-
flation    factor to the      M costs,    To our knowledge such a
factor is not normally considered in Bureau comparative cost
estimates,      We have included it, however, in our analysis
in connection with those            costs that we consider valid.
     The following  schedule compares the Bureau?s final
study costs with ihe costs as adjusted by use

                                                   Schedule
                                                          -- of incremental costs
                                                                         As adjusted
                                                   bureau of              by General
              August 1962 study                  Reclamation         Accouhting Office
              by type of lining                Earth     Concrete    Xarth      Concrete

                                                              (000 omitted)
cost     items:
        Construction     costs, including
           bridges                             $ -         $17,230     $ -          $17,230
        Interest    during construction                                                   963
        Right-of-way                                 840                      840       -
        C&M costs (before inflation
           factor)                               5,154                      2,753       -
        Loss of indirect      agricultural
           benefits                                 880                       880       -
        Evaporation                              2,460
        Seepage                                  6,740                  --
Total     (before      inflation)               16,074      17,230          4,473    18,193
Inflation         factor    for O&M costs        3,624                      1,852       -
Total       (after    inflation)               $19,698     $17,230      $I___
                                                                           6,325    $18,193
                                                                                     -
Incremental          advantage                             $ 2,468      $11,868


     As indicated,   if the                    Bureau had given what we believe
to be proper recognition                     to the above factors,    the study
would have shown that the                      earth ‘Lining was the more econom-
ical of the two methods,                       Our analysis  of the differences
in each of the cost items                      sho-wn in the schedule is contained
in the following   sections,



                                                  27
              t   ;-I   ‘J   i
                                      ~ coristruction
                                 1 1 C*’
                                                        not   considered

               _’r ~l:!pE: Jr.-i I ‘p, j:he cost     of the earth and concrete        lining
a ~l:s~~-rj:d
            j;i\Tes p t'-,c Tj;up-au             failed    to consider    the interest
~~OSLS UII Fe_‘Ieral funds used during                         the construction     period.
'i‘ilis E-act-or ir: usually                 considered      in making cost comparisons
but > acccrding                  to the Bureau,         it inadvertently       was overlooked
on this project.

         The interest       during   construction          amounting     to $963,000
was computed on the basis of $16.39 million                         which represents
the difference         between the incremental              construction        costs
of the $17. 2 million            for concrete       lining     and the incremental
right-of-way        cost of $840,000         for earth       lining.       Interest
was co:riputed on the basis of a composite                     Federal-State         rate
of 3.33 percent          for the period        of construction.            Interest
during     conztrxlction       should have been an incremental                  cost
attributable        -to the concrete       lining       and its omission         con-
trlbuted     to making the concrete             alternative         appear more
ecnnomical,

Qucstj.or;~~~-ejdqments        in analysis                      and
projection .-_--_-.--
                  of c&M costs

         The b:illreau estimated    incremental       O&M costs of $5,154,000
atirib~:~table      to an earth lining.         This cost estimate      in-
cluded the foliowing          items and their       incremental  costs.

                                            Item
                                           I-~                    Incremental           costs

                                                                       $     173,000
        Lining     repair
        Canal cleaning:
              Weeds                                                           987,000
              Clams                                                           700,000
        Embankment ifi<? !.ntenance                                        1,594,ooo
        Weed contrci1 :
          . Emergent weeds                                                   615,000
              Bank top weeds                                                 102,000
        Structural       maintenance                                         205,000
        Pumps and meter maintenance                                          717,000
        Turnouts --construction                                               61,000

                  Total                                               $5,154,000
      We found several    instances     in which the Bureau exer-
cised questionable    judgment     in the estimation    and calcula-
tion of costs as they related        to (1) lining   repair,   (2) ca-
nal cleaning    for weeds and clams, and (3) emergent        weed con-
trol.

       Lining    repair

        The Bureau's    study assigned         incremental       lining    repair
costs of $173,000       to the earth-lined          canal.      We believe         this
to be an incorrect        assumption,      because the limited            histori-
cal cost data available           at the Bureau's        Region 2 in Sacra-
mento, California,        shows that the cost of concrete-lining
repairs    for another     Bureau-constructed          canal--the        Delta-
Mendota--is,     per mile,      almost twice the cost of earth-lining
repairs.      The Delta-Mendota        Canal,     completed      in 1951, pro-
vides a particularly        valid    basis for comparison             because       (1)
it is located      immediately      adjacent      to the San Luis Canal and
 (2) it has both concrete-          and earth-lined         sections.        Limited
cost data for the Delta-Mendota              Canal for a 3-year period
showed the cost for earth-lining               and concrete-lining           repairs
to be $12.67 and $23.63 a mile,              respectively.

       The Bureau representative,       who prepared   the estimate
used in the cost study,       told us that costs of lining      repairs
probably    should have been considered       as an incremental     cost
of concrete     lining rather     than earth lining.

       Canal    cleaning--aquatic         weeds

       Incremental       costs of $987,000      for cleaning     aquatic
weeds were assigned          to the earth-lined      canal on the basis of
the Bureau's       experience     for the Friant-Kern      Canal which--
like   the Delta-Mendota        Canal--has     both concrete-      and earth-
lined    sections.       The Delta-Mendota      Canal had not been used
in this     case because it had never experienced             an aquatic
weed problem,       although    it had been in operation         for about
the same period        of time as the Friant-Kern         Canal,    which the
Bureau completed         in 1951 and is located       about 60 miles      south
and east of the San Luis Canal,

       We believe  that the Bureau's     assignment  to the earth-
lined   canal of the incremental     costs for aquatic    weed clean-
ing was questionable,     because it did not assign     any incre-
mental   costs to the concrete-lined      canal for controlling
                                          29
algae growth,    a problem that existed      in the concrete-lined
reaches   of the Friant-Kern     Canal used as the basis for es-
timating    the cost of cleaning.      In fact,   the algae problem
was more serious     than the weed problem      in the Friant-Kern
Canal because the algae growth diminished           the capacity   of
the canal.

       In August 1962 the Bureau found that a copper sulphate
treatment      it had been using,       "in desperationPg'      to prevent
algae from developing           had controlled      the weed problem as
well.     Subsequent       to the introduction        of this treatment,
the control      of algae and aquatic          weeds can be obtained      by
biweekly     applications       in only two locations        on the 153-mile
canal.     Inasmuch as this treatment            solved both problems,       we
do not believe         that the incremental       costs should have been
assigned     to the cost of earth lining.

      Canal   cleaning--clams

       The study assigned     incremental   canal cleaning         costs of
$700,000     to the cost of the earth-lined        canal for the re-
moval of clams, on the basis of information             pertaining      to
the removal      of clam deposits    in a concrete     section     of the
Delta-Mendota      Canal.   Data on clam deposits       in the earth-
lined   sections    was not available.

        We believe   that the incremental     cost for the removal
of clam deposits        should not have been assigned    to the earth
lining,    because the Bureau had no proof that clams were a
greater    problem   in one type of lining     than another.   An in-
dication     of the questionable    premise on which the projection
was made is shown in the following         remarks contained   in the
Bureau's    workpapers.

      "We do not know what controls        the rate of de-
      posit-- water temperature,    water silt     load,  envi-
      ronment   (hard vs earth lining)--but       suppose there
      is a unit   area relationship     in hard linings,    and
      double this    rate in earth ***0"

       Using this rationale,        the Bureau then determined,     on
the basis of the Delta-Mendota           Canal experience,   that clams
develop    on a concrete     lining    at the rate of 8.7 cubic yards
a mile each year.        This rate was then "rounded       to 10 yards
x** in a hard lining        or double -20 in an earth lining."
                                      30
        Although   the Bureau admitted         that it did not know what
controls      clam deposits,    it arbitrarily      assumed that clams
would be twice the problem in an earth-lined                canal.    On the
basis of this      questionable     assumption,     the Bureau estimated
the cost of the required          canal cleaning      equipment    to arrive
at the incremental        cost of $700,000,

         The Bureau"s     estimate     was based partly       on a university
professor's      opinion      that clams would favor an earth lining.
His opinion      was based on his knowledge             of marine biology
and observations         made during      a visit    to the Delta-Mendota
Canal at which time about 30 miles of the canal--which                          is
entirely     concrete     lined--    had  been    dewatered   to   allow    for
cleaning     of silt,     clams, and other biological            material.
Since his observations            did not cover any portion            of the
earth lining,       he qualified       his opinion      by indicating       that
there could be no real proof except through                   scientific        re-
search.

       Emergent     weed control

      We found that the Bureau's      assignment    of incremental
costs of $615,000   for control    of emergent weeds in an earth-
lined  canal was erroneous    because    (1) an arithmetic    mistake
had been made in computing      the area to be affected      by the
weeds and (2) there had been no valid         basis for the costs
used.

       The Bureau's       study     stated:

       "There would be a 5-foot       strip along each side of
       an earth-lined      canal at the water line that would
       require     emergent weed control.     This would amount
       to about 2 acres per mile.

       "Estimate      = 2 at      $150 = $300 per mile         per year"

The study applied     the $300 a mile to the 82 miles of canal
to arrive   at the annual cost of $24,600.    An area 5 feet by
1 mile,   however,  amounts to about 1.2 acres rather   than
2 acres.    This correction   alone would have reduced  the annual
cost from $24,600 to $14,760.




                                              31
               When we attempted     to ascertain       the basis for estimating
      weed control      costs at $300 a mile,         we were told that it was
      based on the best information           available      at the time and that
      no further      documentation     was available.         To determine    the
      reasonableness        of the estimate,     we reviewed      the Bureau"s
      cost data for the Delta-Mendota            and Friant-Kern       Canals.     We
1I    found that emergent weeds were not a problem for the Delta-
III   Mendota Canal and that the total             annual expense for emergent
 I    weed control      at the Friant-Kern       Canal for the 5-year period
      1957-61 averaged         $910.   The application       of this cost to the
      earth-lined      section    of the canal resulted         in costs of about
I!    $36.07 a mile each year.           On the basis of this cost,          we es-
I     timate     that the cost of controlling           emergent weeds for the
1     82 miles of the San Luis Canal would be $2,958 a year rather
1     than $24,600 a year as estimated             by the Bureau.        This results
i     in a decrease       in the cost of controlling          emergent weeds of
!     about $541,000        (an 88-percent    reduction).




                                            32
Inflation     factor    for   C&M costs

         In computing     the C&M costs attributable          to an earth-
 lined     canal,   the Bureau included         an estimated    annual net in-
 crease in incremental          O&M costs of 4 percent,        representing
 the net effect        of (1) inflation        and (2) decreased     costs re-
 sulting     from improved      C&M methods and equipment.           The net
rate of increase         was based on both historical          costs of a
group of selected         stable    irrigation     projects   and on the
judgment       of the estimators.

        The Bureau estimated          the present      worth of incremental
C&M costs attributable           to the earth lining           alternative      over
 the 50-year     estimated      project    life    at $8,778,000.          Of this
 amount, $3,624,000        represented        the present      worth of the pro-
jected    net 4-percent       annual increase         in O&M costs over the
SO-year period.         It should be noted that the 4-percent                   an-
nual increase       was applied       to C&M costs which were overstated,
 as pointed     out on page 29.          A reduction      in these costs also
would reduce the amount attributed                 to inflation,         and we have
 adjusted    the amount accordingly             in our schedule        of incremen-
tal costs.

Invalid      values    assipned to water
lost    through     seepage and evaporation

        An earth-lined    canal,  because its sides have flatter
slopes,     occupies   a greater  area than a concrete-lined         canal
of equal capacity,       and as a result,     the water losses      due to
evaporation      and seepage will    be greater    in an earth-lined
canal.-     The Bureau considered      such losses   in its comparison
but did not evaluate        them correctly.

       The Bureau assigned      an incremental      cost of $9.2 million
to the earth-lined       canal as a result      of water losses    due to
evaporation      and seepage.    The amount of the water loss was
estimated,     for the most part,     on the basis of the average
cost of providing       water through    a future    State water project.
The estimated      water loss for an earth-lined          canal amounted
to 116 cubic feet per second (c.f.s.)             and for a concrete-
lined    canal it amounted to 86 c.f.s.--an          incremental   loss of
30 c.f.s.




                                          33
        S i rice t:?k i‘-q;.~T.jTy      between ttht? two construct        ion al-
ternatives       was made to compare incremental               costs,   we believe
that the analysis            should have considered         the additional         con-
struction       costs of enlarging          the capacity      of the earth-
lined     canal to compensate           for the incremental        losses.       In
this    case $ it would have been the incremental                  cost of pro-
viding      another      30 c.f.s.    capacity,     The maximum design capac-
 ity of the canal was 13,100 c.f.s.                and an increase         to
13,130 c.f.s        .--about      two tenths    of 1 percent--would          have re-
sulted      in such a small increase            in construction       costs as to
be almost unmeasurable,

       In requesting    a reduction   in the value assigned    to wa-
ter Bosses, the Acting       Regional   Director of Region 2 advised
the BureauIs     Office  of the Chief Engineer    of this fact   in a
letter   dated July 3, 1962, which stated:

             3;              *            *             *              JC




       !lSince  the total      seepage loss equals about 100
       C.F.S.,    the actual       savings       attributable       to a com-
       pletely    watertight       lining      would be the difference
       in construction       cost of a 13,000-c.f.s.               canal as
       opposed to a 13,100-c.f.s.                canal.       The saving
       cannot manifest       itself       in any way other than by
       the elimination       of this        last     increment    of cost.

       "'This reduction  in construction      cost is a real
       saving but one so    small   as  to be  indeterminate
       as a practical   matter.   k*-kVs

       We found no indication         that this was considered         by the
Office   of the Chief Engineer           in its calculation     of compara-
tive costs of canal linings           for the San Luis Canal.          Instead,
by stating      that incremental      water losses      of $9.2 million
were attributable         to an earth-lined     canal,     the Bureau pre-
sented another       factor   which incorrectly       favored   the use of
concrete    lining,

Questionable      decision       to construct     a
concrete-lined      canal

      In addition     to those problems    previously     discussed,
which relate     to the cost of alternatives,         we noted other

                                         34
factors    which we believe  raised                 serious questions about the
reasonableness    of the decision                 to proceed with the construc-
tion of a concrete-lined     canal.

       A 1963 Bureau publication           "Linings    for Irrigation        Ca-
nals,"    which is intended          as a guide for engineers,        supervi-
sors of irrigation        districts,      and others     concerned    with the
planning,     design,    construction,       and maintenance      of irriga-
tion canals,      states    in part:

      "Where suitable            materials          for the construction
      of a thick        compacted-earth               lining       are available
      at the jobsite          *'k-k, this         is likely         the lowest
      cost permanent           type of lining               with respect         to
      both first        and ultimate            costs for use on large
      canals.       A thick        compacted-earth              lining      has an
      advantage       not possessed             by any other            type of
      lining     in general          use.       Because of its weight
      and plastic        characteristics,                 it can withstand
      considerable         hydrostatic            pressure        without      loss
      of effectiveness,              and it can be used in many in-
      stances      without       drains       under the lining              in areas
      where the canal prism intersects                          the ground wa-
      ter table.         For similar            reasons,        a thick
      compacted-earth            lining       can be used to advantage
      over expansive           clays which disrupt                  more rigid
      type linings.            Another        distinct         advantage       of
      thick     compacted-earth             linings         is the ease of con-
      structing       partially         lined       sections        or reaches,
      as required        to cut off permeable                    strata     or areas.
      The earth lining             blends       in with the unlined
      earth sections.11

            *                *               *               *                *


      "The most important      factors  influencing        the unit
      cost of thick    compacted-earth      linings     are size
      of the job,    source of materials,        weather     condi-
      tions,  mixing   requirements,    subgrade      preparation,
      and cover materials.       ***

      "A job involving    the placement     of large quantities
      of lining   in large canals   permits    the effective
      use of heavy equipment.      Hence, the unit      cost of

                                             35
                material handling  is       reduced and the in-place
                cost per square yard        of lining is relatively              low.

                "The source of materials         may be a controlling
                factor   influencing       unit cost because of the cost
                of excavation       or haul.    The least  expensive     lin-
                ings will be those for which materials             removed
                in the required        canal excavation   can be used in
                the lining.     **kcrr

             The application     of these general criteria to conditions
      known to exist      on the San Luis Canal route present,   in our
      opinion,   a strong    case for the use of an earth lining    for
      the canal.

 i              1. The San Luis is one of the largest       canals constructed
  i
,.i                by the Bureau,   and, according   to several      geological
,i                 studies,  there was an adequate     supply of suitable
,:I
                   materials   from canal excavation    for earth-lining
 I                 purposes.

                2. Expansive    clays were expected    to be a problem                  at
                   several   locations  in the area of the San Luis                     Canal.
                   One Bureau geology     study stated   that:

                          "There were a number of instances     where
                          expansive  clays were encountered    within
                          the first  25 feet of depth.     Such clays
                          could be detrimental  to the canal from
                          stability  and uplift standpoints."

                3. Another    Bureau    geology        report   states   that:

                          "*M    there are several         reaches where
                          shallow      subsidence     or expansive    clays
                          will   require      excessive    subgrade   prepara-
                          tion to warrant         the use of a rigid      lining
                          such as concrete.           There may be some
                          areas where any amount of treatment               would
                          not produce a subsoil           suitable  for a
                          rigid    lining."

                Another   factor    which would appear           to enhance the desir-
      ability       of constructing      an earth-lined          canal is that almost

                                                  36
the entire   canal line crosses       an area known to be subject         to
subsidence.     In fact the area is affected        by two types of
subsidence --deep    subsidence    caused by groundwater      withdrawals
and shallow   subsidence     caused by soils    that consolidate      when
wet.

        Although     the Bureau planned to take steps to reduce the
problems      caused by subsidence,              the Chief,    Geology Branch,
Region 2, in a letter              dated September        28, 1961, to the Re-
gional     Engineer,      stated      that shallow      subsidence       would con-
tinue with some possible                cracking    of embankment foundation
material      and probable         cracking      of the proposed        concrete
lining.      He stated       also that deep subsidence              in some areas
might continue         well beyond the time the groundwater                     table
was stabilized.           In view of the expected             subsidence,         we be-
lieve    that an earth         lining      with its plastic,        flexible       qual-
ities    would have been superior                to a rigid    concrete      lining.

       The comments of the California            Department         of Water Re-
sources   on this matter     tend to further          question       the validity
of the Bureau's      cost study.       The State,        in conveying        its of-
ficial   position    to the Bureau on the type of lining                   to use
for the San Luis Canal,        indicated      that its studies           showed
that the use of a 4-l/2-inch-thick              unreinforced         concrete
lining   could not have been economically               justified       over the
use of a heavy-compacted-earth           lining.        The State pointed
out that in the region       subject     to shallow         subsidence       con-
crete lining      may not be the best selection.                  In conclusion,
however,   the State said that:

       q"Although   we have some reservations,           as expressed
       above, we are willing         to accept your judgment        in
       this matter      and concur in the construction           of a
       concrete   lining       4-l/2 inches  thick    in reaches    of
       the San Luis Canal where wetting             of the underly-
       ing soils    would not be expected         to result    in
       structural     failure.'"

      At the completion        of our field      review    on this    project,
we became aware of preliminary           planning      by the Bureau to
raise  the level    of the canal due to subsidence              problems.
As of February     1970, contract      costs for the work--in            reaches
2, 3, and 5--were      estimated     at about $12 million,            Addition-
ally 9 the  Bureau   will    incur   noncontract       costs  of   about

                                           37
$4 million,      or total    costs of about $16 million         to correct
subsidence      problems.     The work is planned       to be done in
stages over the next 4 years,              Although  it would be neces-
sary to raise       the level     of the canal for either       type of
lining,     Bureau studies      indicate    that an earth-lined      canal
could be accomplished         easier     and at less cost.




                                     38
                                     CHAPTER 4

              AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR EVALUATION THEREOF

        In a draft   of this report,       we proposed   that the Secre-
tary of the Army and the Secretary             of the Interior        take ap-
propriate    action    to jointly   develop     and implement       procedures
which (1) ensure improved         coordination      and communication         in
the design and construction         of water resources         projects     and
 (2) provide    a free exchange of ideas and technological                 ad-
vances.

        We proposed      also that the agenciesacfrjointly                 to es-
tablish     guidelines      identifying       the techniques       used and the
items of costs considered               to ensure objective        evaluations
of design alternatives.               With respect      to the selection          of
the dam at New Melones,             we proposed      that the Secretary           of
the Army direct        the Chief of Engineers             to consider      further
exploration       of the foundation         conditions       to determine       the
effect     such conditions        might have.upon         the cost of an arch
dam,

       In commenting         on our draft      report,    the Department       of
the Army,     in   a  letter     dated   September     8,   1970,   accepted     our
recommendations         on the desirability          of further     efforts    re-     6
lating    to interdepartmental           coordination       and communications
on matters      pertaining       to design and construction             of water
resources     projects,       including     guidelines      for cost evalua-
tion of design alternatives              (see app. I).         The Department
advised     us that systematic          exchange of design criteria,
guide specifications,            and cost guidelines,          with opportuni-
ties   for discussion         between appropriate         agency representa-
tives,    was explored        by representatives        of the Corps and the
Bureau in Denver on July 27, 1970.                   Conclusions      reached at
the meeting were:

       s'l.   Design standards            and criteria,       guide specifi-
              cations,        and cost estimating          guidelines    (in-
              cluding       drafts     of such material         issued for
              field      review)     will   be exchanged automatically
              at the time of issuance.                 For this purpose,
              distribution         lists    for various       types of publi-
              cations       will   be exchanged        between the Corps
              and the Bureau.
 -   -




         "2.   Where applicable,          questions      raised   by ex-
               change of material           concerning      agency prac-
               tices      should be resolved          immediately   by cor-
               respondence.         Meetings     will    be arranged    to
               facilitate       discussions      between appropriate
               agency representatives            when deemed advisable.

         "3.   Information       on engineering         computer programs
               will    be interchanged        automatically         when is-
               sued.      The Corps will        furnish      the Bureau
               copies of the current            Abstract       List of Com-
               puter Programs available              at Corps offices.
               When the proposed         computer       library     at the
               Waterways      Experiment      Station       becomes opera-
               tional,     the Bureau will         be supplied        informa-
               tion on available         engineering         computer pro-
               grams on a regular          periodic       basis.     Bureau
               lists    of available       program plus other            infor-
               mation generated        from the Bureau of Reclama-
               tion Engineering        Computer Systems (BRECS)
               will    be furnished      to the Corps.

         "4.   Exchange of information             on schedules     of intra-
               agency technical          conferences     will   be made, in-
               cluding      invitations       for the other agency to
               attend     when appropriate.          In any event,     the
               publications          or minutes   generated     from such
               conferences        will   be exchanged."

       In commenting       on the July 1970 meeting with the Corps,
the Department       of the Interior        also agreed that a formalized
exchange of design         information     would be beneficial             to both
agencies.       (See app. II.)         With regard        to our proposal         for
the establishment        of guidelines        identifying       the techniques
to be used and the items of cost to be considered                        in eval-
uating    design alternatives,          however,       the Department        stated
that alternative        studies,     using established          engineering
economic principles,          are a basic professional             requirement
and written      procedures      are not generally          considered       neces-
sary or appropriate.

      The Department    stated  also that feasibility,     judgment,
economics  experience,     new developments,  and intangibles     are,
in its opinion,    part of the background    considered     in

                                            40
.


    rendering    an engineering      decision.       Although      we recognize
    that many professional         considerations       enter into comparisons
    of design alternatives,         we see no reason why these factors,
    along with the appropriate           economic considerations          and pro-
    cedures,    should not be formalized          to ensure their        uniform
    application     and evaluation       by appropriate      officials.

            Although      the Department        of the Interior          did not comment
    specifically       on our views regarding              the San Luis Canal,          they
    advised      us that,      if  we  desired     it,    certain    material    relating
    to the Bureau's          rationale     was available          for our examination.
    The information          referred    to by the Department             was reviewed
    and was given appropriate               consideration         by us.

            The Department   of the Army advised        us that it was not
    adopting    our suggestion    regarding    the need to consider      fur-
    ther the economic advantages         of constructing      an arch dam
    for the New Melones project         and that it had awarded a con-
    tract    in the amount of $26 million        for construction     of di-
    version    and outlet   works for a rock-fill        dam.

           The Department       stated     that,     although    there were dif-
    ferences   in cost estimates           which,      on the surface,         favored
    the arch dam, these differences                were relatively         small in re-
    lation   to the total      estimated         cost of either      form of struc-
    ture and that the nature            of the uncertainties            involved      cre-
    ated a substantially          greater     risk     that undefined        problems
    could increase      the cost of the arch dam construction.                         The
    Department    stated    also that,        in its opinion,         these factors,
    coupled with the delay that could be encountered                         in shifting
    to an alternate       design,     p rovided      a sound and reasonable             ba-
    sis for proceeding        with the rock-fill            dam.

           In commenting     on this matter,    the Corps advised      us that
    although    its analysis    could be refined,      the refinements     were
    not considered     to be of sufficient      magnitude    to alter   the
    views and conclusions       presented    in the Chief of Engineers'
    letter   to us dated March 2, 1970 (see p* 12).

              With regard     to our views on the contingency         factors
    used, the Corps stated          that the contingency      factors      are re-
    lated      to the degree of refinement         of the design and that,         at
    the time of the latest          cost analysis,      the design    for the
    rock-fill       structure    was essentially     complete   although      the

                                                41
     design for the arch dam was very preliminary              without com-
     pletion   of the necessary    foundation    investigations.       There-
     fore contingency    factors   of 20 percent     for many of the arch
     dam's features    were deemed appropriate,        whereas a contin-
     gency factor    of 10 percent    was considered      appropriate   for
     the rock-fill    dam.

            We believe    that inherent      in this concept     is an auto-
.j
     matic weighted     factor      in favor of any given design alterna-
 I   tive   toward which,      for whatever     reasons,   the greatest     amount
 I   of effort    or consideration        has been directed.       In any   event,
     we noted that the Corps' use of a lo-percent              contingency      in
     its cost analysis       for the rock-fill       dam is inconsistent
     with the contingency         allowance    used in other recent      cost
     estimates    for the New Melones project.

             The Project     Cost Estimate     for New Melones dated Au-
     gust 1, 1970, which serves as a basis for requesting                    con-
     gressional      funding    contains    an average contingency       allowance
     of 17 percent       for many of the rock-fill         dam features.       The
     use of a 17--percent        contingency    allowance    for the rock-fill
     dam in lieu of the lo-percent            contingency    allowance    would
     further    increase     the cost advantage       of the arch dam.

             With regard       to our views on the consideration                   that
     should have been given to interest                    during    construction,        the
     Corps stated         also that,      from a practical         point    of view,
     funding     rates would likely            govern construction          periods
     thereby     resulting       in a significantly           smaller    advantage      for
     the arch dam than our analysis                 indicated.        The Corps stated
     further     that this       smaller     cost advantage        was not considered
     to be of significant           magnitude       to offset      the economic
     losses    and probable        price-level        increases      which would result
     from delays        that would be incurred             in construction         of an
     arch dam.

            We recognize     that the construction          period     for either
     type of dam will       be governed by the rate at which the Con-
     gress appropriates        funds,  thereby    affecting       the interest
     during   construction,       but we see no basis for the Corps'              as-
     sumption    that this     factor  will   have a greater         impact on the
     arch dam.




                                                 42
       The Corps commented that our evaluation          of the cost
of interest   during construction         was based on an interest
rate of 4-7/8 percent, whereas the Corps' estimation               for the
cost of interest     during construction       was based on a rate of
3-l/8 percent, which is the rate used in justification                of
the initial   appropriation     of construction     funds.     The Corps
may have used a 3-l/8-percent          rate in estimating    interest
during construction      for justification      of the project,      but
the revised estimates of cost used in evaluating             the two
design alternatives,      as contained in the Chief of Engineer's
letter   of March 2, 1970, did not give consideration            to in-
terest during construction        at either rate.

       We believe that the use of an interest    rate of
4-7/8 percent is more appropriate,     because it is the rate
prescribed    by the Water Resources Council for use in fiscal
year 1970 in plan formulation     and evaluation  of water re-
sources developments.




                                   43
                                  CHAPTER 5

                  CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSIONS

        We believe   that the matters     discussed    in this report
indicate    that substantial      savings   could be achieved    in the
cost of designing       and constructing     water resources   projects
by improvements      in the coordination,       communication,   and in-
terchange     of ideas between the Corps and the Bureau.

        We found that the use of different          design practices
and procedures       by the two agencies    results      in substantial
differences      in cost for accomplishing      essentially      the same
objectives.        We believe   that there is a need for better          co-
ordination     to ensure that (1) differences          in design proce-
dures and practices         are identified  and evaluated      and (2)
both agencies       use the most economical     practices     consistent
with the design requirements.

         Subsequent      to commenting       on our draft    report,     the Bu-
reau and the Corps, on November 2, 1970, entered                      into a
written      agreement      to facilitate      the systematic      exchange of
information         on design and construction         practices      employed
by each other.           In addition,      the Corps and the Bureau issued
instructions          on the administration       of the agreement         to their
various      offices.

       We believe    that this agreement,        if properly     implemented,
could result      in significant     future   savings    through   improved
interdepartmental       coordination      and communication      in the de-
sign and construction         of water resources      projects.

       The Corps has advised       us that it is proceeding          with the
construction     of a rock-fill     dam because of (1) relatively
small differences      in the cost of the two designs--rock-fill
and arch-- in relation       to the total   cost,   (2) the uncertain-
ties   involved   which could increase      the cost of an arch dam,
and (3) the possible      delay in project       completion      resulting
from shifting     to an alternate     design at this       time.

       We believe,     however,   that,  if the Corps had made a more
appropriate     evaluation     of the two design alternatives  at an

                                        34
earlier    date, it would have recognized a significant        cost
advantage in favor of constructing          an arch dam in the amount
of about $9 million.        Had the Corps recognized the signifi-
cance of the cost advantage,       it could have evaluated more
thoroughly     the uncertainties   attributed     to the arch dam and
thereby avoided the possible delay in shifting           to an alter-
nate design at this late date.

      In this regard, the Bureau, which has developed consid-
erable expertise   in the design and analysis   of arch dams,
could have provided invaluable   assistance   to the Corps,
       The problems discussed in this report,        both with re-
spect to the type of dam for the New Melones project             and
the type of lining       for the San Luis Canal, indicate,       in our
opinion,   a need to develop guidelines      setting    forth those
factors that are to be considered in evaluating            design alter-
natives.    Such guidelines     are necessary to ensure a complete
and objective     analysis which will result      in the most effi-
cient, effective,      and economical use of Federal funds,
RECOMMENDATIONSTO THE SECRETARYOF THE ARMY
AND THE SECRETARYOF THE INTERIOR

      We recommend that the Secretary        of the Army and the
Secretary of the Interior:

      --Review the coordination    and exchange of information
         on water resources engineering    to ensure that both
         agencies (1) evaluate and adopt, where practicable,
         those procedures and practices   which most economi-
         cally meet their requirements   and (2) make the most
         efficient  use of their joint capabilities.

      --Require the development of guidelines     identifying  the
         techniques to be used and the items of cost to be con-
         sidered to ensure objective  evaluations    of design
         alternatives.
      We recommend also that the Secretary of the Armyrequire
the Chief of Engineers to develop written  guidelines and
procedures for the purpose of improving the Corps' capabil-
ity in the design and analysis  of arch dams.


                                  45
I                                         CHAPTER 6

                                        SCOPE OF REVIEW

             Our review   dealt primarily       with evaluating      differences
    in design practices        between the Bureau of Reclamation              and
    the Corps of Engineers.          We   evaluated     also  the   design    prac-
    tices     of the Bureau for the San Luis Canal.               We reviewed
    design and construction         manuals,     applicable     laws and regu-
    lations,     we examined selected        records,     and we interviewed
    officials      of the Bureau and Corps,

            Our review        was made at the     following    locations:

                Location                                        Office

    Washington,        D.C.                        Corps of Engineers,
                                                     Office    of the Chief of
                                                     Engineers
    Portland,       Oregon                         Corps of Engineers,
                                                     North Pacific       Division
    Walla     Walla,       Washington              Corps of Engineers,
                                                     Walla Walla District
    Sacramento,        California                  Corps of Engineers,
                                                     Sacramento     District      and
                                                     Bureau of Reclamation,
                                                     Region 2
    Denver,      Colorado                          Bureau of Reclamation,
                                                     Office    of the Chief Engi-
                                                     neer




                                             46
 APPENDIXES




47
                                                                                   APPENDIX I
                                                                                      Page 1

                                      aRTMEMT              OF THE ARMY
                                        WASHINGTON,         D.C.   20310




                                                                             08 SEP 1970

Mr,    C. M. Bailey
Director,   Defense Division
United States General    Accounting                    Office
Washington,    D. C. 20.598

Dear      Mr.   Bailey:

         This is in reply to your letter    of 17 June 1970, which submitted
for review    and comment     the draft of your proposed    report  to the
Congress     on “Opportunity    for Improvements     in the Development    and
Evaluation    of Design Alternatives     for Federal   Water Resources
Projects.    ” (OSD Case # 3129).

       The Chief of Engineers   has prepared    a detailed     statement     of
comments,    which is enclosed.    I concur in his comments.           Specifi-
call y, we accept the recommendations      on the desirability       of further
efforts     relating      to interdepartmental               cvorclination   and   communications
on matters     pertaining     to design and construction            of water    resources
projects,    including     guidelines     for cost evaluation        of design alternatives.
The enclosure        cites examples       of present     coordination     practices     which
your staff may not have been aware of at the time the draft report                         was
prepared.      In addition,     the enclosure       reports    on a recent meeting         with
the Bureau      of Reclamation        designed   to lay the ground for expanded
coordination      procedures      in accordance       with your suggestion.

         I would like to address          specifically     the issue relating      to the type
of dam for the New Melones               project.       We have concluded       that construc-
tion should proceed          with a rockfill      dam, and a contract        in the amount of
$26 million      for construction        of the diversion      and outlet works was
awarded     in June 1970.          I appreciate      that there is room for legitimate
difference     in engineering        opinion on the type of dam to be used in a
particular     location.      It seems to me that, where the selection                of the
type of dam by a responsible              agency is a result       of a careful     and delib-
erate evaluation         of costs,    hazards     and uncertainties,       and is fully
 supported     by much of the most expert engineering                 talent available,



                                                      49
          APPENDIX I
                 Page      2

          Mr.     C. M.        Bailey   --

           including     eminent      consultants       drawn from outside the agency itself,
           the General       Accounting        Office would be reluctant               to suggest that the
           judgment      of its staff be substituted              for that of the responsible              officials.
          I have carefully         reviewed       the history         of the engineering          decisions       made
           in connection       with New Melones.                That history       indicates       that both the
           District     and Division       offices     were clearly          aware of the considerations
          favoring      competing       forms      of structures.           No effort was made to sub-
          merge this issue; on the other hand, the field offices                              solicited     the
           assistance       of experts     in the Office of the Chief of Engineers,                       and
           ultimately      a board of experts           on the construction            of large dams was
      I
           impaneled       to address      the question.            In October      1969, at your suggestion,
           the Corps reassessed             the possible         use of an arch dam using the Bureau
      i    of Reclamation         computer       methods         and again developed            comparative
           cost estimates        based on existing            field investigations.            Based on this
           reassessment         and the aforementioned                 area of expert advice,            the Chief
           of Engineers        made the final decision,                 Although     there were differences
          in cost estimates          which on the surface               favored    the arch dam, these
           differences       were relatively          small in relation         to the total estimated              cost
          of either form of structure               , and the nature          of the uncertainties           involved
, L


      i    created     a substantially        greater      risk that undefined            problems      could
          greatly     increase      the cost of the arch type construction.                        These factors,
          coupled with the delay which could be encountered                              in shifting     to an
          alternate      design,     provide,       we believe,          a sound and reasonable              basis
          for proceeding         with the rockfill         dam.

                   While we have, therefore,          not adopted the recommendation                with
           respect    to the type of dam, I would like to make it clear that I fully
          understand       why your staff raised this issue in the draft report.                  This
          is an area in which no one can properly               assert infinite     or ultimate
          wisdom,       in view of the substantial      uncertainties      and judgment       factors
          involved.       We   will continue  with   respect     to the   Corps   of  Engineers
           Civil Works Program          our practice     of carefully     considering     various
          alternative      basic types of dams in every case, in order to assure that
          the pros and cons of each are fully developed                 and adequately      satisfied
          prior    to embarking      on any particular      type of construction.

                We appreciate   your courtesy    in providing                      us the opportunity    to
          comment  on your draft report.      The improved                        coordination   procedures




                                                               50
Mr.         C.    M,    Bailey        --




                                           Specie)     +4s sistant     to ihe S+;etary     of the         Army
                                                     :, I          (Ci+.l   F-ti’ctions)


Enclosure                        .,                                                           (‘I   a,

      COE        Statement                                                                               .. ,
                       ,T      ‘: t
                          :   i. ,,
APPENDIX I
   Page 4


                       Comments of the Corps of Engineers on
        Proposed Report of-the Comptroller   General of the United           States
                 to the Congress of the United States Entitled:

                             OPPORTUNITYFOR IMPROVEMENTS
                          IN TEE DEVELOPMENTAND EVALUATION
                             OF DESIGN ALTERNATIVES FOR
                          FEDERAL WATER RESOURCESPROJECTS



                                Bureau of Reclamation
                             Department of the Interior

                       Corps of Engineers (Civil Functions)
                              Department of the Army


    The draft report recommends (1) further        foundation     explorations   for
    the purpose of iefining     the estimate of cost for an arch dam at the
    New Melones Project,     and (2) inter-departmental       action to improve
    coordination  and communication on matters pertinent            to the design and
    construction  of water resources projects,        including     guidelines  for
    the cost evaluation    of design alternatives.

    The Corps' position  with respect to the contents of the draft report
    relating  to Corps programs follows in order presented in the draft.

                               Use of Concrete     Arch Dams

    Although the Corps has not constructed        a concrete arch dam since
    the Y&foot    high North Fork Dam in California,        completed in 1939,
    and the 260-foot high Englebright       Dam, also in California     and completed
    in 1941, consideration     of this type of structure     has been made in all
    cases where appropriate.       It is of course essential    that topography and
    foundation  conditions   be favorable before an extensive       study of an arch
    structure  would be justified.       It is the practice   of the Corps of
    Engineers to make at least a preliminary        comparison of all suitable
    dam types for every project.

    Regarding the statement on the greater safety of an arch dam "at certain
    dam sites",     it could also be said that "at certain       dam sites"   an arch
    dam will    provide a smaller margin of safety relative         to a fill  dam.
    This could be particularly        true for areas of strong seismic activity.
    The opinions      of consulting   engineers as to which type of dam will       perform
    better under strong seismic shocks vary.           Their opinions    are necessarily
   .based upon judgement as the engineering         technology of behavior of dams
    and their    foundations     under seismic shock is not sufficiently      advanced
    to allow a rigorous      valid analysis.




                                              52
                                                                             APPENDIX I
                                                                                Page 5

                             New Melones Project

For the reasons outlined     in the letter   dated 2 March 1970, from the
Chief of Engineers to Mr. Allen R. Voss, Associate Director,          U. S.
General Accounting Office,     we are proceeding with the construction
of a rockfill  structure   at the New Melones site.     A contract     in the
amount of approximately    $26,000,000 was awarded in June 1970 for
construction  of the diversion     and outlet works.   The June contract
award meets the present schedule and avoids an otherwise         resulting
delay in funding and later construction.

The recommendation in the draft report for considering                 further     a concrete
arch dam is based on a comparative          cost analysis      that differs      from the Corps
analysis    in several respects.        The differences     having the greatest          effect on
the comparative     analysis are related       to the contingency        factors used and
consideration     of interest   during construction.          Although it is recognized
that the Corps analysis could be refined             the refinements       are not considered
to be of sufficient      magnitude to alter the views and conclusions                 presented
in the Chief of Engineers'       letter    of 2 March 1970. Therefore,             those views
and conclusions     are considered equally valid and applicable                at this time.
However, in the interest       of further    clarification       of this position        the
following     comments are offered on the differences            in the comparative
analyses.
Contingency    factors are related     to the degree of refinement     of the design.
At the time of the latest       cost analysis,    the design for the rockfill
structure    was essentially    complete while that for the arch was very
preliminary    without   completion of the necessary foundation      investigations
for an arch dam. Contingency factors           of 20% for the main dam and Spillway
and 15% for the Outlet Works and Power Intakes were, therefore,              deemed
appropriate    for the arch dam plan, whereas a 10% contingency          factor was
considered appropriate       for the rockfill    plan.   The Chief of Engineers
does not consider that it would be appropriate           to use the same contingency
factor    for both plans.
Shortly before the 1966 Board of Consultants          Meeting, an extensive      clay-
gouged fault zone was found in the upper left abutment which would require
expensive remedial treatment      for the arch dam. While an allowance for this
remedial treatment was included in the comparative           estimates,    the Corps of
Engineers and its consultants       were concerned that additional       similar    con-
ditions   might be found in subsequent explorations         as experience has shown
that such defects in similar      metavolcanic     rock formations    usually are not
isolated    instances.    This possibility   further   supports use of the higher
contingency     factor for the arch dam,
With regard to interest   during construction,     it should be recognized that,
from a practical   point of view, funding rates will      likely govern construction
periods thereby resulting    in a significantly    smaller advantage for the arch
dam than your analysis indicates.       The smaller advantage in first    and invest-
ment costs in combination with the possible small advantage for operation
and maintenance costs is not considered to be of sufficient        magnitude to
offset  the economic losses and probable price level increases which would
result  from delays associated with the arch dam.


                                             53
APPFLNDIXI
   Page 6

   The GAO evaluation     is based on an interest      rate of 4-7/B% which is the
   rate prescribed     by the Water Resources Council for use in FY 1970 in
   the plan formulation      and-evaluation   of water resources developments.
   The Corps' estimates      for cost of interest     during construction     are based
   on a rate of 3-l/8%, which is the rate used in justification              of the
   initial  appropriation     of construction    funds, in accordance with implemen-
   tation of the Water Resources Regulations          prescribing   the interest    rate
   to use in plan formulation       and evaluation    of Federal water resources
   projects  (Title    18 of the Code of Federal Regulations,        Part 704.39,
   Discount Rate).




                             [See GAO note,       p.   57.1




                               Use of Water Reducing     Admixtures
   A research program undertaken at our Waterways Experiment Station
   established    that in most lean mass concrete the use of water reducing
   admixtures would not be economically         justified.    We agree that such
   admixtures may be helpful       in some of our structural     concrete.  To
   encourage consideration      of this we will      include a paragraph on water-
   reducing admixtures     in the forthcoming      revision  of the Standard Guide
   Specifications     for Concrete.
   Consideration     is currently    being given by the American Society for Testing
   and Materials     and Federal Agencies to permitting       water reducing agents as
   functional    additions   to be included in the cement.        Such a cement should
   effectively    eliminate    the principal    technical  problem in the use of these
   materials    which is the incompatibility        of cement and admixture.   There will
   also be major economic benefits         since a contractor    will not be required to
   handle a separate material        in the mixing plant and the cost of testing
   admixture will     be eliminated.      Performance of the addition    will be checked
   as part of cement testing.




                                            54
                                                                                APPENDIX       I
                                                                                    Page       7


                  Desipn    of Cutlet   Works for Embankment Dams




                           [See GAO note,       p.   57.1




The buried dome gate structure           has operational   disadvantages         and usually
is not economical for projects           where multi-level    intakes are necessary
for water quality        releases.     Access to gates in dome structures            is more
awkward and inspection          and maintenance of the portion        of the conduit
upstream of the gates are more difficult             and generally      impracticable     at
the higher pool levels.           Most of the Bureau of Reclamation          irrigation
projects      require a smaller outlet       than Corps projects      since the latter
usually      provide for flood control       releases through the outlet works.
The smaller outlet         requirement   on the Bureau Projects       permits the
installation        of a pipe or pipes in the conduit or tunnel (originally
sized for diversion)          and thereby permits an economical access to the
gates in the buried dome through the same conduit or tunnel.                      In cases
where a large conduit is required for flood control                releases and a
separate access must be provided to the dome structure,                  economy
generally       favors an arrangement with the gates in an upstream tower
with only a single conduit for water releases through the dam. This
has been verified        by recent studies on two projects         with embankments
205 feet and 160 feet in height.

It is agreed that in certain   circumstances,    such as the absence of
adequate rock structure  at economical depth for the foundation      of a
high intake tower or where a project will have a relatively       small
outlet,  a buried dome gate structure    may prove to be more feasible.
ETL 1110-z-84 was issued, therefore,     in response to the CA0 suggestion,
in order to insure that its use will     be considered where design con-
ditions  warrant.




                           [See GAO note,       p.   57.1      y


With respect to the last paragraph on page 21 of the draft report,      the
use of the oblong conduit is not restricted     to dams from 100 to 160 feet
in height.    This is the r;nge of applications   to date; however, its use
also is intended,    and will pro<ide greater economy, in dam heights   greater
than 160 feet.
APPENDIX l!
     Page     8


                       Reoort   Conclusions    and Recoaunendations

   We have always favoredclose   coordination with the Bureau of Reclamation
   and other public and private  agencies in the water resource field.   There
   are a great many ways in which this coordination   is carried out and it
   may be well to discuss some of the current procedures.

   The Corps and the Bureau participate         in formal biennial    research conferences.
   These meetings provide for the interchange          of information     on research
   activities    and include discussions     of associated design and construction
   problems.     Technical  sessions are usually      held on Hydraulics,     Soils,  Concrete
   and Structural,     Rock Mechanics, and Electric       Power. Post conference tours
   are a feature of these meetings and provide an opportunity              for the exchange
   of visits   to projects   of the participating      agencies.

   Both the Corps and Bureau are well represented          on the United States Committee
   on Large Dams, an organization       whose purpose is to encourage improvements
   in the design, construction,       maintenance and operation         of large dams, and
   in other technical     societies   such as the American Society of Civil             Engineers,
   the American Soqiety for Testing and Materials,          American Concrete Institute,
   U. S. Committee on Soils Mechanics and Foundation Engineering,                 International
   Commission on Irrigation       and Drainage, the Reinforced Concrete Research
   Council,    and the World Energy Conference.        Corps of Engineer and Bureau
   representatives     are very active in these societies,         serving as officers
   of the organizations      and as members of many of the technical           committees.
   This participation     provides beneficial    liaison   between Corps and Bureau
   engineers and other designers as well.          The technical      journals    of these
   societies    provide an excellent    means of reporting     criteria      improvements.
   An example is the recent publication        in the Journal of the Power Division,
   AXE, of the Bureau's new design criteria           for power penstocks on which
   the Corps prepared a discussion. for publication         in a subsequent journal.

  Meetings of Corps and Bureau engineers are often arranged on an ad hoc
  basis.     Examples'are     the visits  of Corps personnel to Denver to coordinate
  specifications        for embankment compaction with tamping rollers     and to review
  design flood criteria.         Ad hoc inter-agency    meetings also are held concerning
  federal     specifications,    such as the one held by the Corps during the week of
  13 July 1970, on Federal Specifications           for Cement and Pozzolans.

  Design help has been sought and supplied on an "as-needed"      basis. An
  example of this type of cooperation     is the loan to the Bureau of a Corps
  specialist    on cofferdam design for the Grand Coulee new powerplant
  construction.

 , Corps of Engineers'        libraries  maintain    an inventory   of the Bureau's
   technical     literature     such as the Engineering     Monographs and Design
   Standards for use by engineering personnel.              Corps of Engineers guide
   specifications        are furnished automatically      to the Bureau upon issuance.




                                               56
                                                                                 APPENDIX I
                                                                                    Page 9

"Selected   Water Resources Abstracts'*,      a semimonthly         publication     of the
Water Resources Scientific        Information   Center, Office of Water Resources
Research, U. S. Department of the Interior,             includes abstracts        of current
articles,    reports and other publications        pertinent      to water resources
development.      It is distributed     to Government Agencies and others
interested     in water resources projects      and is-an excellent           aid in keeping
abreast of current literature         in this field,      including    information     on
design and construction       of engineering    works.

While these procedures have been very beneficial           and productive,  we agree
that an expanded program to include the systematic           exchange of design
criteria,   guide specifications,      and cost guidelines,    with opportunities
for discussion     between appropriate    agency representatives,     would be
desirable.     This matter was explored with representatives         of the Bureau
during a meeting which was held in Denver on 27 July 1970. Conclusions
of the meeting follow:

      1. Design standards and criteria,             guide specifications,      and cost
estimating    guidelines    (including    drafts     of such material     issued for
field   review) will     be exchanged automatically         at the time of issuance.
For this purpose, distribution         lists     for various types of publications
will be exchanged between the Corps and the Bureau.

     2. Where-practicable,    questions raised by exchange of material
concerning agency practices     should be resolved immediately    by corres-
pondence.   Meetings will   be arranged to facilitate   discussions   between
appropriate  agency representatives    when deemed advisable.

      3. Information      on engineering   computer programs will      be interchanged
automatically      when issued.    The-Corps will    furnish  the Bureau copies of
the current Abstract        List of Computer Programs available       at Corps offices.
When the proposed computer library         at the Waterways Experiment Station         be-
comes operational,       the Bureau will   be supplied information      on available
engineering      computer programs on a regular periodic       basis.    Bureau lists    of
available     programs plus other information      generated from the Bureau of
Reclamation     Engineering     Computer Systems (BRECS) will    be furnished     to the
corps.

     4. Exchange of information    on schedules of Intra-agency   technical
conferences will  be made, including   invitations  for the other agency to
attend when appropriate.   In any event, the publications     or minutes
generated from such conferences will    be exchanged.

The Chief of Engineers does not concur in the recommendation to consider
further    an arch dam for the New Melones site.          Based upon the results   of
the restudy of dam type suggested by the GAO, the decision was made in
March 1970 to proceed with a rockfill          dam. It appeared at that time that
costs to design and construct        either  type of dam would not be significantly
different,    and this assessment is still       considered valid for reasons previously
discussed herein under the heading of the New bfelones Project.             In addition,
the disadvantages     associated with the arch plan, which are outlined          in the
Corps' letter     of 2 March 1970 to Mr. Allen R. Voss, Associate Director,           U. S.
General Accounting     Office,  will    be avoided.

GAO note:       The deleted comments relate                to matters  which
                were discussed  in the draft               report  but omitted
                from this final   report.


                                                57
 APPENDIX II



                United States Department                     of the Interior
                                OFFICE OF THE        SECRETARY
                                 M-ASHINGTON,        D.C. 20240




Mtr . Allen R. Vc uu
                   mm
                                                                  SD    18   1970
Associate   Director,  Civil       Division
General Accounting    Office
Washington,    D. C. 20549

Dear Hr. Voss:

The Department of the Interior          has reviewed with interest        the GAO
Draft Report "Opportunity        for Improvements      in the Development and
Evaluation   of Design Alternatives          for Federal Water Resources Projects,
Corps of Engineers      (Civil   Functions),     Department of the Arrn~r, and
the Bureau of Reclamation,         Department of the Interior."         Our comments
are directed   to that portion       concerned with the Bureau of Reclamation.
While we are interested        in the auditors'     observations     on the type of
dam selected    for the New Melones Project,         we cannot comment on the
procedlz-es or judgment of the Corps of Engineers'              experts on the basis
of the information     in the report.

We have examined the Bureau's comments concerning     the portions    of this
report  dealing with the choice of lining   used on the San Luis Canal
and conclude the Bureau's documented rational    for their  decision has
not been <otally   included in the GAO material.    This material   is avail-
able for your examination   if you desire.

The auditors*        conclusions    and recommendations        state the need for im-
proved coordination           and communication     between the Bureau of Reclamation
 and the Corps of Engineers regarding              design of water resources        projects.
At present there is a meaningful              exchange of information        by way of
 specifications,        laboratcry   reports,     and other printed     documents.
There is also an exchange of information                through professional      society
meetings.        Both the Bureau and the Corps participate             actively   in
technical       societies     such as American Society of Civil Engineers,
American Society for Testing and Materials,                 American Concrete Institute,
U.S. National        Committee on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering,
International        Commission on irrigation        and Drainage,     World Energy
Conference,       and the U.S. Committee on Large Dams. More specifically,




                                               58
                                                                               APPENDIX II
                                                                                   Page 2

design practices        of the Bureau and the Corps, as well as those of
major engineering        consulting    organizations,       are being 'continually
reported     and compared within       the technical       committee structure     of the
American Society of Civil Engineers.               For example, top level design
representation       of the Corps and the Bureau has for many years existed
on the Committee on Embankment Dams and Slopes of the Soil Mechanics
and Foundations       Division.     Similar representation           has existed on
technical     committees     in the Hydraulics       Division,     Power Division,   and
Structural     Division     of the Society.       Through committee meetings,
committee reports,         and presentation      of papers on design of projects,
Corps and Bureau practices          for major structures          are disseminated   to
each other as well as to the engineering                profession     at large.

Since 1960 biennial       conferences         on coordination       of research     activities
have been held among the Bureau of Reclamation,                    Corps of Engineers,
Tennessee Valley Authority,            and Bonneville       Power Administration.
These 3-day conferences          include a detailed         review of research programs
to avoid duplication        of effort       in such activities         as structures,
hydraulics,   and materials,           Design and operating          philosophies      and
practices   of the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation
are discussed in connection            with these research          coordination      meetings.
Typical design matters included               are slope stability         and dam design;
earthquake   engineering;       hydraulic        energy dissipators;        gates, valves,
and control   devices;      vibration       of structures      and equipment;       hydraulics
of intakes;   riprap     studies;      air-entrainment        studies;     waterways;     water
measurement;    pipeline      and tunnel hydraulics;           structural      analysis      and
design; rock mechanics;          electric      power systems; and transmission              line
structures   and hardware.

Cooperation    on specific    problems has been effected           by consultation
and individual     assignments     such as visits     by the Corps personnel         to
study arch dams analysis,        to utilize     our facilities,      and consultation
in analysis    of a specific     structure,     and to assist us in design of a
large cellular     cofferdam   in an area where they had constructed               similar
facilities.     On a number of occasions the Bureau has met with the Corps
to discuss or coordinate        construction     specifications.       As an example,              A
in October 1969, a meeting was held between the Bureau and the Corps
to discuss modification       of specifications        for sheepsfoot     rollers.
This resulted    in an agreement on a specification              that would permit
manufacturers    of sheepsfoot      rollers   to meet the requirements           of both
the Corps and the Bureau.




                                                 59
APPENDIX II
    Page 3

yn 5 7:iir, 2,; p;I^ 1 E;: ii ?‘,-c: been flllly   cooperative    in the field     of flood
h:,rvsl?Ezr.     :-e?c~~wFr ;"lood rtorage,             spillway  capacity   design, and
f13CI!    rc1exx        frw       reservoirs.      Through such cooperation        the spillway
of 'he Ailb-~~c l~,a on i-he American River was designed to permit a great
deal of fleCbility                in controlling      flood releases     and allocations
cjf flood Ztorakl          capacities         in Auburn Reservoir    and the downstream
Folssm Reservoir.

In a joint     meeting between the Corps and the Bureau in July 1970 it
was concluded that a formalized      exchange of design information  would
be beneficial      to both agencies.  This will be accomplished by the
following     procedures:

            Design standards        and criteria,       guide specifications,     and
            cost ezt imating guidelines           (including   drafts     of such
            material     issued for field       review) will be exchanged
            automatically        at the time of issuance.         For this purpose,
            distribution      lists    for various types of publications
            will be exchanged between the Corps and the Bureau.

            Where applicable,    questions   raised by exchange of material
            concerning   agency practices    should be resolved      immediately
            by correspondence.     Meetings will be arranged to facilitate
            discussions   between appropriate      agency representatives
            when deemed advisable.

           Information    on engineering       computer programs will be
           interchanged     automatically      when issued.     The Corps will
           furnish    the Bureau copies of the current          Abstract   List
           of Computer Programs available           at Corps offices.      When
           the proposed computer library           at the Waterways Experiment
           Station becomes operational,          the Bureau will be supplied
           information    on available      engineering    computer programs
           on a regular    periodic     basis.     Bureau lists   of available
           programs plus other information           generated from the Bureau
           of Reclamation     Engineering      Computer Systems (BRECS) will
           be furnished    to the Corps.

           Exchan<ye of information     on schedules of intra-agency
           technical  conferences   will be made, including      invitations
           for the other agency to attend when appropriate.




                                                60
                                                                          APPENDIX II
                                                                              Page 4
            In any event, the publications   or minutes             generated
            from such conferences   will be exchanged.


In regard to the last recommendation               on page 42, we believe that
alternative     studies,    using established         engineering      economic prin-
ciples,     are a basic professional         requirement,        Written   procedures
for making comparisons of alternatives               for accomplishing        engineering
work are not generally         considered      necessary or appropriate,           Al-
ternatives     and comparisons thereof          usually    involve different       factors
for each individual       job.    Feasibility,       judgment,     economics experience,
new developments       and intangibles       are all part of the background con-
sidered in rendering        an engineering       decision.

We appreciate     the opportunity       to have commented on this         report
in draft.




                                                            of Survey    and




                                               61
APPENDIX III                       COPY
     Page 1

                               TYPES OF DAMS

EMBANKMENT
         DAMS

        An embankment dam is constructed    of natural excavated
materials     placed without the addition   of binding materials
other than those inherent in the natural material.           The ma-
terials    are usually obtained at or near the dam site.        Em-
bankment dams are referred       to types such as earth fill    or
rock-fill.       Its chief disadvantage  is that embankment sec-
tions can never be overtopped without damage; consequently,
a spillway     of adequate size must always be provided,

       Site conditions     which lead to the adoption of an embank-
ment dam rather than a concrete dam usually          are: (1) a wide
stream valley,     (2) lack of firm rock abutments, (3) consid-
erable depths of earth overlying          bedrock on the valley floor,
(4) poor quality      of bedrock from a structural      point of view,
(5) availability      in adjacent borrow areas of sufficient
quantities     of suitable    soils,   (6) existence of a good site
for a spillway     of sufficient     capacity to prevent overtopping,
and (7) inaccessibility        of site, which would render importa-
tion of construction       materials    expensive,
CONCRETEGRAVITY DAMS

      The solid gravity    dam is the most commonly used type
of concrete dam structure,       It relies    solely on its weight
for stability.     This type of structure       has an excellent  rec-
ord for safety and low-maintenance        cost.    An important fea-
ture of gravity    dams is the relative     simplicity   in which a
safe spillway and outlet works may be provided without the
necessity    of separate structures    for these features.

       Following    are site   conditions   favoring   the use of grav-
ity   dams.
       1. Shallow    depth of overburden.

       2. A firm rock foundation      which is capable of support-
          ing the resulting    vertical    and horizontal    loads with-
          out progressive   crushing,     shearing,   or settlement.



                                     62
                                                                 APPENDIX III
                                                                       Page 2

       3. An adequate       source of acceptable         fine and course        ag-
          gregate  for      the required  volume        of concrete.

CONCRETE ARCH DAM

        An arch dam is a solid         concrete     or masonry dam, curved
upstream,     which,in     addition    to resisting        part of the pres-
sure of the reservoir          by its own weight,          obtains    a large
measure of stability         by transmitting        the remainder          of the
water pressure        or load by arch action          into the canyon walls.
The ideal      site for an arch dam is a narrow,                 symmetrical
V-shaped valley.         Wide sites      are less desirable          because a
greater     portion    of the load is carried           vertically       to the
foundation       in the central     part of the dam. Therefore                for
sites    that are less than ideal,           arch dams must be thickened
or shaped to improve their           load-carrying         ability.




                                        63
     APPENDIX IV
          Page 1

                      PRINCIPAL    MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS

                                  RESPONSIBLE FOR

                       ADMINISTRATION    OF ACTIVITIES

                         DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT


                                                      Tenure    of office
                                                      From                  -To
                           DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

     SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:
         Melvin R. Laird                       Jan.      1969      Present
         Clark Clifford                        Mar.      1968      Jan.    1969
         Robert S. McNamara                    Jan,      1961      Feb.    1968


                          DEPARTMENT QF THE ARMY

     SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:
         Stanley   R. Resor                    July      1965      Present
         Stephen Ailes                         Jan.      1964      July    1965
         Cyrus R. Vance                        July      1962      Jan.    1964
         Elvis   J. Stahr,  Jr.                Jan.      1961      June    1962

.i   CHIEF OF ENGINEERS:
         Lt. Gen. Frederick   J. Clarke        Aug.      1969      Present
         Lt. Gen. William   F. Cassidy         July      1965      Aug.    1969
         Lt. Gen. Walter K. Wilson,     Jr.    May       1961      June    1965


                        DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIQR

     SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:
         Rogers C. B. Morton                   Jan.      1971      Present
         Fred J. Russell   (acting)            Nov.      1970      Jan..   1971
         Walter J. Hickel                      Jan.      1969      Nov o 1970
         Stewart  L. Udall                     Jan.      1961      Jan.    1969




                                        64
                                                                   APPENDIX IV
                                                                        Page 2

                                                    Tenure    of    office
                                                    From                     To
                         DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR      (continued)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR WATER
  AND POWER DEVELOPMENT:
    James R. Smith                           Mar.      1969        Present
    Kenneth Holum                            Jan.      1961        Jan.    1969

CO?4MISSIONER OF RECLAMATION:
    Ellis  L. Armstrong                      Nov o     1969        Present
    Floyd E. Dominy                          Hay       1959        Otto    1969




U.S. GAG Wash..   D.C.


                                      65