5. Expand opportunities for partnerships in operating and maintaining portions of existing infrastructure.
6. Adopt some combination of these options.
Option 1: Business as Usual
Resources from the Corps annual budget (i.e., the general fund of the U.S. Treasury) for new construction and rehabilitation of existing water infrastructure have been declining steadily and are inadequate to cover all OMR needs. Other possible sources of funding have been inadequate to cover all costs, leading to an unsustainable situation for maintenance of existing infrastructure. This scenario entails increased frequency of infrastructure failure and negative social, economic, and public safety consequences. The potential extent of these negative consequences is not well understood.
Option 2: Increase Federal Funding for Operations, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation
There has been a long-term declining trend in funding for Corps water resources infrastructure construction and rehabilitation across numerous federal budgets. The future viability of this option is unclear.
Option 3: Divest or Decommission Parts of the Corps Infrastructure
The inability of the Corps to divest and decommission infrastructure is an obstacle to focusing available funding on highest-priority OMR needs. Financial stresses placed on the Corps to provide safe and efficient operation of all infrastructure leads to partial investments across many facilities, rather than larger investments in more critical facilities. Decommissioning and divestment of some components of the Corps water infrastructure would reduce OMR obligations, but such decisions are matters of public policy and would require action by Congress or the administration.