evaluation of the links between Corps infrastructure operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation (OMR) and ecosystems, given the breadth of the topic, would entail a separate investigation. The committee viewed this interpretation as consistent with its charge to consider “navigation, flood risk management, hydropower, and related ecosystem infrastructure managed by the Corps.”
This committee held its first meeting of this phase of the project in Washington, D.C., in April 2011, where it engaged with several Corps of Engineers senior staff members, along with numerous guest speakers from outside the agency. A second meeting was held in Davenport, Iowa, in July 2011 and was hosted by Corps of Engineers staff from its Rock Island District office. That meeting featured presentations from Corps of Engineers staff, regional water experts from outside the agency, and representatives from communities affected by floods, as well as a field trip to the Mississippi River Lock and Dam 15 Corps facilities. A third meeting was held in Washington, D.C., in December 2011 that featured guest speakers mainly from outside the Corps of Engineers. A fourth and final writing meeting, which included a field trip to Hoover Dam and engagement with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials, was held in Las Vegas in March 2012. Guest speakers at the meetings are listed in Appendix A.
This report is organized into four chapters. Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 reviews and comments upon historical federal water resources planning processes, with an emphasis on the Water Resources Development Act. Chapter 3 examines the state of Corps infrastructure and related challenges in setting OMR priorities, as well as opportunities to address these issues in the Corps mission areas of navigation, flood risk management, and hydropower generation. Chapter 4 summarizes committee observations regarding the state of Corps water resources infrastructure, and presents options for paths forward in managing existing Corps water resources infrastructure.
Primary audiences for this report are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Congress, and the executive branch. Other audiences for this report include state and local elected officials and water managers, the commercial navigation sector, floodplain communities, port and harbor authorities, the energy production sector, and nongovernmental environmental organizations.