NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. DACW-72-96-C-0005 between the National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 99-60701
International Standard Book Number 0-309-06097-4
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Copyright 1999 © by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WATER RESOURCES PROJECT PLANNING PROCEDURES
DAVID H. MOREAU, Chair,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
FRED P. BOSSELMAN,
IIT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
RICHARD T. CARSON, Jr.,
University of California, San Diego
JEANNE NIENABER CLARKE,
University of Arizona, Tucson
LEO M. EISEL,
McLaughlin Water Engineers, Denver, Colorado
WILFORD R. GARDNER,
University of California, Berkeley
RICHARD F. GORINI,
J. Simmons Group, Houston, Texas
CONSTANCE E. HUNT,
World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.
RAY B. KRONE,
University of California, Davis
ANN L. RILEY,
Waterways Restoration Institute, Berkeley, California
RICHARD E. SPARKS,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Steinberg and Associates, McLean, Virginia
DOUGLAS C. WOOLLEY,
Radford University, Radford, Virginia
JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Study Director
ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Senior Project Assistant
WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD
HENRY J. VAUX, Jr., Chair,
University of California, Oakland
CAROL A. JOHNSTON, Vice Chair,
University of Minnesota, Duluth
Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
JOHN S. BOYER,
University of Delaware, Lewes
The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
University of Minnesota, St. Paul
CHARLES D. D. HOWARD,
Charles Howard and Associates, Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia
WILLIAM A. JURY,
University of California, Riverside
WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR.,
University of Colorado, Boulder
GARY S. LOGSDON,
Black & Veatch, Cincinnati, Ohio
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
JOHN W. MORRIS,
J.W. Morris, Ltd., Arlington, Virginia
CHARLES R. O'MELIA,
The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
PHILIP A. PALMER,
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Delaware
REBECCA T. PARKIN,
The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
JOAN B. ROSE,
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida
ERIC F. WOOD,
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director
JACQUELINE A. MACDONALD, Associate Director
CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer
LAURA J. EHLERS, Staff Officer
JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Staff Officer
MARK GIBSON, Research Associate
JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Associate
ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant
ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Senior Project Assistant
KIMBERLY SWARTZ, Project Assistant
COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES
GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Chair,
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
PATRICK R. ATKINS,
Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JERRY F. FRANKLIN,
University of Washington, Seattle
B. JOHN GARRICK,
PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California
THOMAS E. GRAEDEL,
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.
KAI N. LEE,
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
JUDITH E. MCDOWELL,
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts
RICHARD A. MESERVE,
Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.
HUGH C. MORRIS,
Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia
RAYMOND A. PRICE,
Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario
H. RONALD PULLIAM,
University of Georgia, Athens
THOMAS C. SCHELLING,
University of Maryland, College Park
VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL,
Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida
University of Maryland, College Park
MARY LOU ZOBACK,
United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California
ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director
GREGORY H. SYMMES, Associate Executive Director
JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative & Financial Officer
SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate
MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, like many other federal agencies, is a large, complex organization driven by executive and legislative directives, as well as its own traditions. It is also an organization in transition, moving from its traditional role as a leader in engineering solutions to the nation's flood and other water-related problems to a new role as a cooperative partner with nonfederal entities and addressing diverse, new priorities.
Our committee was charged to review the Corps' planning procedures, consider the necessity for a major evaluation of the federal Principles and Guidelines, assess the implications of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, and comment upon the impacts of the use of risk and uncertainty analysis in Corps planning. Through the course of this study, it became clear to the committee that many desired improvements to the Corps' planning process can only be pursued in the context of broader, federal policy considerations. Moreover, at its first meeting the committee was encouraged by Assistant Secretary of the Army, Martin Lancaster, to "think outside the box" and assume a broad view of Corps planning. Our committee thus chose to consider some additional issues regarding the Corps' planning process, such as basinwide and regional planning and the Corps' environmental restoration activities.
Our task was complicated by the numerous views about how the Corps does business. Traditional stories and anecdotes about the Corps abound. Many are true and supported by evidence; some are probably true but lacking documentation; others are probably untrue. Given our committee's diversity and wide range of perspectives, we spent considerable time trying to separate fact from fiction. In some instances were we able to do so. In others, a lack of time and resources limited our investigation, and we concluded by recommending to the Corps that they investigate the issues in greater depth.
Our report does not call for radical changes in Corps planning procedures, although we do recommend several steps to modernize planning concepts and techniques. Several steps within the Corps' planning process require detailed engineering, environmental, and economic analyses. These procedures are inherently time-consuming and cannot be significantly streamlined without compromising their quality. While opportunities exist for the Corps to further reduce the length of its planning process, the committee found that the Corps' planning procedures are generally not excessively lengthy.
While the committee's charge was restricted to a review of domestic activities, the Corps has also worked overseas and with foreign water resources
planners, a tradition that continues today. The Corps should be encouraged to continue its cooperative efforts in international water planning, whether they involve overseas project planning or hosting foreign scientists at Corps research centers. The Corps should especially seek to apply the same high standards of project analysis in its international programs that it uses in its domestic efforts.
Although several factors made our task difficult, a number of individuals made our task easier. Ed Dickey, former Chief of Planning for the Corps, informed us, encouraged us, and at times corrected us. Bob Daniel at Corps headquarters was very helpful in providing information and arranging interactions with Corps personnel in the districts and research organizations. John D'Anello and Raleigh Leef from Corps headquarters provided important input and advice. Kyle Schilling from the Corps' Institute for Water Resources also provided guidance. We also owe our thanks to literally dozens of other Corps of Engineers employees, too numerous to mention individually, who provided presentations and logistical support at the committee's various meetings and field trips across the country. Our thanks also go to Mike Slimak from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who provided a presentation to the committee at its meeting in Washington, DC in October 1997. Thanks also go to Tom MacVicar of MacVicar, Frederico, and Lamb, and Holly Stoerker of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission, who spoke to the committee at its West Palm Beach, FL meeting in February 1998. We also wish to thank Jack Morris, former Chief of Engineers and a current member of the Water Science and Technology Board, for attending the committee's meetings and providing valuable advice and oversight.
Our work would not have been possible without the excellent staff of the Water Science and Technology Board. Steve Parker, Director of the Board, provided logistical support and overall direction of the project. Gary Krauss gave us excellent support while he was with the Board, but the heavy duty work fell to Jeffrey Jacobs, especially during the project's final stages when we had to assemble a coherent report from disparate parts and respond to the reviewers' many insightful comments. Ellen de Guzman's assistance with logistics and her work in pulling together the various manuscripts and revising them are greatly appreciated. Our committee thanks them all for their assistance.
This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review and draft manuscripts remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: David Kennedy, California Department of Water Resources; Carol Johnston, University of Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute; Debra Knopman, Progressive Policy Institute; Rutherford Platt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Peter Rogers, Harvard University; Theodore M. Schad, consultant, Arlington, Virginia; Leonard Shabman, Virginia Polytechnical Institute; and Juan Valdés, University of Arizona.
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