The NRC has just released the report, Corps of Engineers Water Resources Infrastructure: Deterioration, Investment, or Divestment? You can download a free PDF.
Here is a description:
Over the past century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has built a vast network of water management infrastructure that includes approximately 700 dams, 14,000 miles of levees, 12,000 miles of river navigation channels and control structures, harbors and ports, and other facilities. Historically, the construction of new infrastructure dominated the Corps' water resources budget and activities. Today, national water needs and priorities increasingly are shifting to operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, much of which has exceeded its design life.
However, since the mid-1980s federal funding for new project construction and major rehabilitation has declined steadily. As a result, much of the Corps' water resources infrastructure is deteriorating and wearing out faster than it is being replaced. Corps of Engineers Water Resources Infrastrucutre: Deterioration, Investment, or Divestment?explores the status of operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of Corps water resources infrastructure, and identifies options for the Corps and the nation in setting maintenance and rehabilitation priorities.
Here is the executive summary: Download 13508_EXS
Here is the report in brief: Download Corps-Infrastructure-Report-Brief-Final
The committee presents six options (see the brief report):
1) Business as usual
2) Increase Federal funding for operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation.
3) Divest or decommission parts of Corps infrastructure
4) Increase revenues from Corps project beneficiaries
5) Expand partnerships
6) Some combination of Options 2-5.
I am curious to see what the Corps' reaction will be, especially to the items mentioned in the chair's quote (see bottom of post).
This one just moved up a few notches on my 'to read' list.
"The country's water resources infrastructure is largely built-out, and there are limited sites to construct new projects. Today, the Corps focuses mainly on sustaining its existing structures, some of which are in states of significant deterioration and disrepair. Funding for maintenance and rehabilitation of Corps water resources infrastructure -- which includes navigation locks and dams, flood management levees and dams, and other facilities -- has been inadequate for decades. We now have a scenario where the water infrastructure is wearing out faster than it is being replaced or rehabilitated. Some components could be decommissioned or divested, but the Corps does not have the authority to do this." - David Dzombak, NRC Committee Chair, from the news release.