The federal audit says that California water districts, not federal taxpayers, were supposed to bear the costs of the $16 billion water project that would ship Norther California water to Southern California.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new federal audit says the U.S. government improperly spent $84 million to help plan for California’s massive proposed water project.

The audit by the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Interior Department obtained by The Associated Press Friday says federal officials contributed the taxpayer money to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to build two giant water tunnels.

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The audit says that California water districts and not federal taxpayers were supposed to bear the costs of the $16 billion water project.

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The inspector general says federal authorities also did not fully disclose to Congress or others that it was covering much of the cost of the project’s planning.

The project would ship Northern California water to Southern California.

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