Levee Safety Program


Levee systems are part of our nation’s landscape and important to communities because of the benefits they provide. For example, more than 13 million people live or work behind levees in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Levee Safety Program. And, public and private property worth more than one trillion dollars are behind these levees.

Through, the Levee Safety Program, USACE partners with levee sponsors to manage more than 1,600 levees across the U.S. that help reduce flood risk to people, businesses, critical infrastructure and the environment.

USACE and levee sponsors work together to understand the benefits and risks associated with levees, build awareness among the public, fulfill daily responsibilities on levees, and take actions to manage the future performance of the levee.

The USACE Levee Safety Program serves as an organizing framework to improve consistency and coordination in how levee-related activities are implemented across USACE. Key program activities include levee inspections, risk assessments, and sharing levee information. These activities are intended to support defendable levee decisions and more aware communities and members of the public.

Levee Safety Program Guidance

USACE welcomes feedback on how things are going by emailing EC218@usace.army.mil.

USACE recently published Engineer Circular 1165-2-218: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Levee Safety Program, which informs how USACE implements its Levee Safety Program. The Engineer Circular will expire two years after publication. USACE will work with its partners to implement and improve this guidance during this two-year period and issue more permanent agency guidance based on input and lessons learned.

Helpful Links and Resources:

  • View all comments submitted during the open comment period on the Federal Register docket.
  • Read a draft summary of the comments received during the open comment period, to be finalized once the Engineer Circular is published, here.
  • Take a look at this fact sheet that covers key facts about the Levee Safety Program and PL 84-99 Rehabilitation Program,  here.

Levee Design Manual Update

USACE is finalizing updates to Engineer Manual (EM) 1110-2-1913, which provides guidance for evaluating, designing, and constructing levees. This is the first significant update to the manual since 2000.

The updated manual was available for review June through September 2022. USACE hosted two informational webinars in July and August to discuss the updated guidance and initial feedback. All comments were due on September 1, 2022. USACE is reviewing all input received and plans to finalize the manual in December 2022. For more information, please contact USACE at EM1913@usace.army.mil.

Helpful Links and Resources:

  • The latest version of EM 1110-2-1913 – Evaluation, Design, and Construction of Levees is available for download and review here.
  • A fact sheet on EM 1110-2-1913 is available here.

Relief Wells Engineer Manual Update

USACE is finalizing updates to Engineer Manual (EM) 1110-2-1914, which provides guidance for the design, construction, and maintenance of relief wells, focusing on their use at dams and levees. This is the first update to the manual since it was published in 1992.

The updated manual is now available for review. Comments, questions, or requests for more information should be submitted to EM1914@usace.army.mil by January 31, 2023.

Helpful Links and Resources:

  • The latest version of EM 1110-2-1914 – Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Relief Wells is available for download and review here.
  • A fact sheet on EM 1110-2-1914 is available here.
  • USACE hosted webinars on October 25 to discuss the draft for review – View at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBMGLCv95w

Levee Portfolio Report

Want to learn more about USACE Levee Safety Program levees? Check out the Levee Portfolio report for more information:

Related Initiatives: National Levee Safety Program Initiative

Congress has authorized development of a National Levee Safety Program, a new initiative being co-led by USACE and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The goal of this program is to facilitate the development of an integrated framework for managing reliable levee systems to reduce risk to people and property damage from floods throughout the Nation. More information on the National Levee Safety Program and upcoming opportunities to offer input is available by visiting https://www.leveesafety.org.

National Levee Database

  • National Levee Database (NLD) - includes attributes of levees and floodwalls relevant to flood fighting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, repair and inspection.

Contact Us

Questions about the Levee Safety Program?  Email us at HQ-LEVEESAFETY@USACE.ARMY.MIL.

Click here to find a USACE district office near you.