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Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development

Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014 requires that the Secretary of the Army annually submit to the Congress a report that identifies, for potential congressional authorization, completed feasibility reports, proposed feasibility studies, and proposed modifications to authorized projects or studies that meet all the following criteria:

  • Are related to the missions and authorities of the Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE primary missions are navigation, flood risk management, and aquatic ecosystem restoration.  Recreation, hydropower and/or water supply will be considered “related” when it is performed in conjunction with one or more of the primary mission(s).
  • Require specific congressional authorization.
  • Have not been congressionally authorized.
  • Have not been included in the main table of a previous annual report.
  • If authorized could be carried out by the Corps of Engineers.

The annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development is to be based, in part, upon annual requests for proposals for authorization from non-Federal interests for proposed feasibility studies and proposed modifications to authorized projects or studies that require authorization for the Corps of Engineers to proceed.

Section 7001 requires that the Secretary certify that the proposals included in the annual report meet the criteria established by Congress, listed above. Any proposals that do not meet the criteria will be included in the Report’s appendix. Inclusion in the Annual Report to Congress does not provide authorization or appropriation for a study or project.

Preparing and Submitting a Proposal

Submit proposals online at www.wrrda7001proposals.us. Proposals must be received by 20 August 2018.

Submit one form for each study or modification to a study or project being proposed.

Do not include Confidential Business Information, information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, or any other information that you would not want to appear in the Annual Report to Congress.

We recommend completing the proposal form in one sitting and having all letters of support and other materials assembled before completing the form. The following information will be requested:

  1. Contact information for the individual/agency submitting the proposal.
  2. Study project / location; you’ll have the option to upload a map of the study / project (PDF).
  3. The name of all non-Federal interests planning to act as the sponsor(s), including any non-Federal interest that has contributed to or is expected to contribute toward the non-Federal share of the proposed feasibility study or modification.
  4. A letter or statement of support from each associated non-Federal interest. Letters may be addressed generically to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the local Corps District office, or the Assistant Secretary of the Army of Civil Works' office. Please limit your files to a maximum of 30MB (30,000 KB) in size. Files larger than 30 MB will not be considered.
  5. State if this proposal is for a feasibility study or a modification to an authorized USACE water resources development project or feasibility study.
  6. If the proposal is for a modification, the name of the authorized study or project must be specified.
  7. State the specific project purpose(s) of the proposed study or modification.
  8. Provide an estimate, to the extent practicable, of the total cost, and the Federal and non-Federal share of those costs, of the proposed study and, separately, an estimate of the cost of construction or modification.
  9. Describe, to the extent applicable and practicable, an estimate of the anticipated monetary and non-monetary benefits of the proposal with regard to benefits to the protection of human life and property; improvement to transportation; the national economy; the environment; or the national security interests of the United States.
  10. Describe local support for the proposal.
  11. State if the non-Federal interest has the financial ability to provide for the required cost share, reference the Planning Guidance Notebook (ER 1105-2-100).

Although additional proposal documentation may be uploaded (30MB max file size), please be sure to answer each question in the field provided. Responses should not state “refer to uploaded documents” with no other response.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Study authority: Congressional authorization to study a water resources problem, usually with the intent of developing a recommendation for a Congressionally authorized project. Study authorization may be narrow, such as a flood risk management project in a specific watershed, or broad. Most of the Nation already has comprehensive existing study authorization applicable to the primary Corps of Engineers missions (flood and storm damage reduction, commercial navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration). If you are seeking to study a modification to an authorized Corps project, study authority generally already exists.

Project Authority: Congressional authorization for the federal participation (via the Corps) in the construction of a water resources project. Projects that have been studied, designed, or constructed in partnership with the Corps may need that project authority modified by Congress to meet the needs of the non-Federal interest.
The local Corps District office can help you determine next steps if your proposal idea already has a study authority or does not need a modification to project authorities, and if it therefore does not need to be included in the Report on Future Water Resources Development. To find out which District you are located in and find a phone number for your Corps District office, visit the Corps' Office Locator.
Only one proposal should be submitted per proposed new study authorization or modification to existing study or project authorization. The non-Federal interest organizing the submission can include letters of support from other interested and supporting parties in its proposal.
The first criterion for inclusion in the Report is that the proposal must be related to the missions and authorities of the Corps.  To meet this criterion, the proposal must involve an existing or proposed water resources project or effort whose primary purpose is flood and storm damage reduction, commercial navigation, and/or aquatic ecosystem restoration.  Proposals which primarily address issues in the areas of recreation, hydropower, or water supply do not satisfy this first criterion; however, these other water resources challenges may be included as secondary considerations when combined with the primary Corps missions and authorities.

Proposals will be evaluated for completion and to ensure they meet all five of the criteria set out by Congress in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) Section 7001 and detailed in the current Federal Register Notice. Proposals included in the Report to Congress will not be evaluated or ranked.

To be considered, proposals from non-Federal interests must be for new study authorities, modifications to an existing study authority, or modifications to an existing project authority. All proposals must be complete to be considered for inclusion. To be considered complete, the proposal must include:

  1. 1. The name of all non-Federal interests planning to act as the sponsor, including any non-Federal interest that has contributed to, or is expected to contribute to, the non-Federal cost share of the proposed feasibility study or project modification.
  2. A letter or statement of support from each associated non-Federal interest.
  3. Clear indication regarding whether the proposal is for a feasibility study (new authority); a modification to an authorized Corps water resources feasibility study (existing study authority); or a modification to an authorized Corps water resources development project (existing project authority). If the proposal is for a modification to an existing authority, the authorized water resources development study or project that is proposed for modification must be specified.
  4. The specific project purpose(s) of the proposed study or modification.
  5. An estimate, to the extent practicable, of the total cost, and the specific Federal and non-Federal share of those costs, of the proposed study; and separately, an estimate of the cost of construction or modification.
  6. A description, to the extent applicable and practicable, of an estimate of the anticipated monetary and nonmonetary benefits of the proposal with regard to the protection of human life and property; improvement to transportation; the national economy; the environment; and / or the national security interests of the United States.
  7. A description of local support for the proposal, if it exists.
  8. A statement that the non-Federal interest has the financial ability to provide for the required cost share, reference ER 1105-2-100.

To be included in the main Report to Congress, proposals must meet all five of the criteria established by Congress in WRRDA 2014:

  1. Are related to the missions and authorities of the Corps. The proposal must involve a proposed or existing Corps water resources project or effort whose primary purpose is flood or storm damage reduction, commercial navigation, or aquatic ecosystem restoration. Following long-standing Corps practice, related proposals such as for recreation, hydropower, or water supply are eligible for inclusion if undertaken in conjunction with such a project or effort.
  2. Require specific congressional authorization, including by an Act of Congress.
  3. Have not already been congressionally authorized.
    1. New feasibility studies proposed by non-Federal interests will be evaluated by the Corps to determine whether or not there is existing study authority.
    2. Proposed modifications to studies or project authority requested by non-Federal interests through Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014 process should indicate the existing authorized water resources development feasibility study or project name.
  4. Have not been included in the main report of any previous Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development. If a proposal was previously included in the Appendix of a previous Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, the proposal may be re-submitted.
  5. If authorized, the study / project modification could be carried out by the Corps.

Proposed project modifications would need a current decision document providing updated information on the scope of the potential project and demonstrating a clear Federal interest before it could be carried out.

Proposals that do not meet all five criteria, or that are incomplete, will be included in the Appendix.

Signed Chief’s Reports recommending project authorization will be included in the Annual Report to Congress; no proposal is required.  Authorized water resources projects already have the necessary study authorization to consider modifications to the project.  If you have questions, please contact your local Districtto discuss the project and what study authorities can be used.  If there is already sufficient study authority (e.g., it is an already authorized project or there is an ongoing feasibility study that has passed the Tentatively Selected Milestone meeting), the proposal will be evaluated for a modification to the project authority. Before the modified project can be implemented by the Corps:  (1) the project modification must be authorized by Congress in law; (2) the Secretary of the Army needs to transmit to Congress a current decision document with the Administration’s position on the project (this may occur prior to or subsequent to authorization); and (3) funds for project construction need to be specifically appropriated by law.
Authorized water resources projects already have the necessary study authorization to consider modifications to the project.  If you have questions, please contact your local District to discuss the project and what study authorities can be used.  If there is already sufficient study authority, the proposal will be evaluated for a modification to the project authority.  Before the modified project can be implemented by the Corps (1) the project modification must be authorized by Congress in law; (2) the Secretary of the Army needs to transmit to Congress a current decision document with the Administration’s position on the project (this may occur prior to or subsequent to authorization); and (3) funds for project construction need to be specifically appropriated by law.
No.  A proposal is not required to continue an active, ongoing study.
The non-Federal sponsor is not required to submit a proposal for project authorization. Studies which are complete and have had a decision document transmitted to Congress, including feasibility studies, General Reevaluation studies, etc., will be included in the main body of the Report on Future Water Resources Development by the Army Corps of Engineers. However, if you wish to submit a proposal, the Corps will evaluate the request as if it were for new construction authorization. If the proposal meets the criteria, it will be included in the main table of the Annual Report for construction authorization; however, the study will still require an approved decision document (e.g., Chief’s Report) transmitted to Congress by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
A non-Federal sponsor is not required to submit a proposal for project modification under this notice.  Section 902 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1986 defines the maximum amount that a project may cost. This is often called the 902 limit or Project Cost Cap.  A post authorization change report (PACR) provides the basis for the Administration to seek authorization to increase the 902 limit, and must be completed to support an increase to the 902 limit. Authority to undertake a 902 study is inherent in the project authority – so a non-Federal sponsor does not need to request a change in study or project authority to study the 902 increase.  Completed PACRs will be automatically submitted in the next annual report. However, if you wish to submit a proposal, the Corps will evaluate the request as if it were for modification to an existing project authorization.  If the proposal meets the criteria listed above, it will be included in the main table of the Annual Report for construction authorization; however, the change to the cost limit will still require an approved decision document (e.g., PACR) transmitted to Congress by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
No.  The Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development is based on proposals for new or modified water resources development projects or studies.  Deauthorization of an existing study or project does not meet the intent of Congress in requesting this Report. Proposals for deauthorizing a study or project, if submitted, will be included in the Appendix.
No.  A request for broader legislative changes to Corps policies does not meet the criteria for inclusion in the Report on Future Water Resources Development. Proposals for legislative changes, if submitted, will be included in the Appendix.  An example of a legislative change to Corps policies that does not meet the criteria of the Report would be changing the Federal / non-Federal construction cost share split for an authorized water resources project.
No.  Proposals that were included in the main report table in the Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development should not be resubmitted.  One of the criteria that must be met by proposals is that they have not been included in any previous Report. If you choose to resubmit a proposal that has already been in the main report table, it will be included in the Appendix of the next Report.
No.  The Report on Future Water Resources Development identifies proposals for new study authorizations, new project authorizations, and modifications to existing project or feasibility study authorities that Congress may consider for authorization. Inclusion in the Report does not provide authorization for a study or project, nor does it provide federal funding for that study or project. Once a study or project is authorized, Congress must also fund that study or project through the annual appropriations process before it can begin.  Contact your local Corps District office to find out more about the congressional authorization and appropriations process for projects completed in partnership with the Corps of Engineers.
Yes.  When your proposal was included in the Appendix, the reason it was in the Appendix and not the main report able was also listed.  You may contact your local Corps District for clarification.  Please review the criteria for inclusion in the Annual Report to Congress in the current Federal Register Notice for the latest information on submitting a proposal.  Proposals that are complete and meet all five criteria may be included in the Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development.
No.  For a proposal to be considered for inclusion in the 2019 Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, it must be submitted during the 2018 proposal period. You may resubmit a proposal included in any previous Report’s Appendix.
“Environmental infrastructure” broadly refers to water supply and storage; water treatment and distribution systems; and wastewater treatment systems, including treatment plants. Environmental infrastructure projects are not one of the core mission areas of the Corps (Criterion 1).  In addition, authorization to provide technical assistance does not provide authorization of a water resources development project.  Therefore, a proposal to modify a project that has been supported by the Corps under general environmental infrastructure technical assistance authorities is not a request for new project authorization nor for modification to existing project authorization, and falls outside the scope of this Report.  Please note that proposed modifications to environmental infrastructure projects authorized under Section 219, as amended, that were authorized prior to the date of enactment of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 (December 16, 2016) will be considered for inclusion in the main report.  If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact your local Corps District.  The Environmental Infrastructure Program, also known as Section 219 (of WRDA 1992, as amended), authorizes the Corps to assist non-Federal interests in carrying out water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects.  Such assistance may be in the form of technical, planning, and/or design assistance for water supply and storage; treatment and distribution systems; and wastewater treatment systems, including treatment plants.

For More Information

2018 Public Information Session Presentation
A public information session about preparing and submitting proposals for the Report to Congress for Future Water Resource Development was held Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 2:00 EDT.

2018 Public Information Session Presentation is available for reference.

For questions related to the Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, please email us at wrrda7001proposal@usace.army.mil