Description : The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is responsible for construction, operations, and maintenance of much of the nation's water resources infrastructure. This infrastructure includes flood control levees, multi-purpose dams, locks, navigation channels, port and harbor facilities, and beach protection infrastructure. The Corps of Engineers also regulates the dredging and filling of wetlands subject to federal jurisdictions. Along with its programs for flood damage reduction and support of commercial navigation, ecosystem restoration was added as a primary Corps mission area in 1996. The National Research Council (NRC) Committee on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Water Resources Science, Engineering, and Planning was convened by the NRC at the request of the Corps of Engineers to provide independent advice to the Corps on an array of strategic and planning issues. National Water Resources Challenges Facing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveys the key water resources challenges facing the Corps, the limits of what might be expected today from the Corps, and future prospects for the agency. This report presents several findings, but no recommendations, to the Corps of Engineers based on initial investigations and discussions with Corps leadership. National Water Resources Challenges Facing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can serve as a foundational resource for the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and Corps project co-sponsors, among others.
Description : Over the past century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has built a vast network of water management infrastructure that includes approximately 700 dams, 14,000 miles of levees, 12,000 miles of river navigation channels and control structures, harbors and ports, and other facilities. Historically, the construction of new infrastructure dominated the Corps' water resources budget and activities. Today, national water needs and priorities increasingly are shifting to operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, much of which has exceeded its design life. However, since the mid-1980s federal funding for new project construction and major rehabilitation has declined steadily. As a result, much of the Corps' water resources infrastructure is deteriorating and wearing out faster than it is being replaced. Corps of Engineers Water Resources Infrastrucutre: Deterioration, Investment, or Divestment? explores the status of operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of Corps water resources infrastructure, and identifies options for the Corps and the nation in setting maintenance and rehabilitation priorities.