Analytical Methods And Approaches For Water Resources by Panel on Methods and Techniques of Project Analysis,

By Panel on Methods and Techniques of Project Analysis, National Research Council

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This requirement remains in place today and has been a fundamental principle in Corps planning studies over the decades (Chapter 3 of this report examines the use of costbenefit analysis in Corps planning studies). A 1941 National Resources Planning Board report identified the need for economic analysis in evaluating water projects (but also highlighted the need to consider intangible benefits of the projects; Holmes, 1972). In 1952, the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget) issued detailed instructions on the form and conduct of such project analyses.

Governmental reorganization has come to be viewed as a task so daunting, requiring such extensive and excruciating political negotiations, that it takes a national emergency to bring it about. This quote explains well the current situation in federal water policy, as the Corps and several other agencies with water-related responsibilities conduct their respective programs and duties without a high-level body to ensure coordination, efficiency, and clear articulation of lines of authority. Since the Water Resources Council was zero-funded in the early 1980s, administrations have chosen to promote federal waterrelated programs without a formal coordinating body.

The Missouri River dam and reservoir system). Another relevant trend is that stakeholder groups today request a greater voice in decision making than in the past. Interest groups and citizens alike are today also less likely to trust the Corps’ professional judgment and analyses than in the past. Corps of Engineers planning studies today often attract much interest and may be carefully scrutinized. The Corps is aware of this and typically hosts public meetings and other events to solicit public input on the agency’s highly visible planning studies.

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