I have approved enrolled bill H.R. 6197, Disaster Relief Act amendments, though I have done so with some reservation. I strongly approve the extension of the basic Disaster Relief Act. However, the provisions which expand the Army Corps of Engineers' authority to provide emergency water supplies are subject to abuse and, to be effective, must be closely coordinated with the several drought programs already in operation.
I therefore expect this new authority to be exercised in consultation with the existing Interagency Drought Coordinating Committee, chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture. This will prevent any duplication of effort or expenditure and promote prompt and efficient assistance to those eligible. I also expect the program to be administered in an environmentally safe way and in a way that minimizes ground water depletion.