offered the following set of investment and economic principles that merit careful consideration. Those principles can be summarized as:

Promote economic efficiency, with investments directed to improvements that yield greatest economic benefits.

Limit government involvement to circumstances in which market-based outcomes clearly would be highly inefficient. Government also is responsible for managing facilities where it has important historical responsibilities that would not be easily altered, and where institutional complexity necessitates government leadership.

Limit government subsidies and ensure that facility beneficiaries pay the costs.

Rely more on user revenues, and the ‘user pays’ principle, along with matching funds and stronger public-private relationships.

Along with economic development principles, broader social and environmental goals for Corps projects, including public safety purposes, of course need to be considered when prioritizing OMR investments for Corps projects (the complete listing of these principles is on Lockage Fees for Commercial Navigation and Other System Beneficiaries.)


In order to identify viable paths for sustainable management of Corps of Engineers water infrastructure, it is useful to consider the range of options available to the Corps, the U.S. Congress, and Corps project beneficiaries. Possible future paths that might be taken with regard to Corps of Engineers infrastructure are as follows:

1. Business as usual. Accept degraded performance, and the consequences of gradual or sudden failure of infrastructure components.

2. Increase federal funding for operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation.

3. Divest or decommission parts of Corps infrastructure to reduce OMR obligations.

4. Increase revenue from Corps project beneficiaries.

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