BOX 1-1

This committee will provide advice to the Corps of Engineers on a range of scientific, engineering, and water resources planning issues through periodic reports. Through its reports, the committee will provide advice to the Corps on agency practices that are valid or that should be revised, and it will help the Corps anticipate and prepare for emerging water resources planning challenges. Meetings between this committee and the Corps will allow for the identification of important and emerging water resources planning and policy issues of high priority to the agency and upon which they are seeking external advice. In addition to speaking with the Corps of Engineers, the committee often will engage invited speakers from other federal agencies, U.S. congressional staff, state governments, the private sector, and relevant stakeholders. The committee also may serve as a forum for occasional workshops on thematic issues, such as flood risk management, sustainable river system planning, hydroecosystem restoration, or implications to water management of climate change and variability.

This committee's first report (NRC, 2011) identified emerging national water resources challenges and their implications for Corps of Engineers strategies and programs. The committee's second report will focus on the future of Corps of Engineers water resources infrastructure.

Part of the committee’s work plan for this second report will include a meeting with several invited speakers to discuss the purposes, condition, investment levels and projected needs, funding alternatives, and decision-making processes relevant to operations, maintenance, and improvements (recapitalization, rehabilitation, repurposing, decommissioning, etc.) of Corps of Engineers water resources infrastructure.

The committee's report will seek to identify alternatives and opportunities for improved decision making and prioritization in regard to maintenance, upgrades, and modernization of the navigation, flood risk management, hydropower, and related ecosystem infrastructure managed by the Corps.

The report also will consider potential opportunities and innovations for managing Corps water resources infrastructure in a modern context of more intergovernmental and public/private partnerships and collaboration. The committee will not recommend changes in levels of federal water resources funding, nor will it recommend changes in Corps of Engineers organizational restructuring.

Statements of task for subsequent reports will be determined through discussions between the committee and the Corps and will be subject to approval of the Academies’ Governing Board Executive Committee.

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