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US Army Corps of Engineers Watershed Authorities, Policies and Procedures

US Army Corps of Engineers Watershed Authorities, Policies and Procedures

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US Army Corps of Engineers Watershed Authorities, Policies and Procedures

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  1. Michael Greer Regional Technical Specialist Buffalo District 23 June 2011 US Army Corps of EngineersWatershed Authorities, Policies and Procedures

  2. Increasing Demands for: • Integrated problem solving • Studies and projects that address multiple purposes and interests • Inclusive processes that engage stakeholders • Collaborative partnerships -w/multiple players (to leverage and address interconnectedness) • “System approaches” that address interconnectedness of projects, activities, players

  3. In CW Watershed Planning • Think problem solving, not projects • Identifying actions and priorities involves more than projects - • Program integration for better problem solving, and greater implementation synergies – w/in Corps and w/others • Integrate all Corps programs in the watershed • existing project management and operation, rehab, DMMPs, Regulatory activities, studies

  4. Corps Watershed Guidance and Policy • Planning Guidance Letter No. 97-8, Watershed Management, Restoration and Development, dated 3 July 1997 (Section 503 0f WRDA 96) • PGL 61 - Application of a Watershed Perspective to Corps of Engineers Civil Works Programs and Activities (27 Jan 1999) • Implementation Memo for Sec 202, WRDA 2000 -Watershed and River Basin Assessments, 29 May 2001, Amended Sec 729 of WRDA 86 • Implementation Memo for Section 2010 of WRDA 2007 – Watershed and River Assessments, March 7, 2008. Also amended Section 729 of WRDA 86 • ER 1105-2-100 (Planning Guidance Notebook , 22 April 2000) - Including Appendix F revision #2, dated 31 January 2007

  5. Corps Watershed Guidance and Policy • Section 22 of WRDA 74, as amended by Section 2013 of WRDA 07 – Appendix G of ER 1105-2-100 • EC 1105-2-409, Planning in a Collaborative Environment (projects) • Section 5002 of WRDA 2007, Watershed Management (no guidance yet) • EC 1105-2-411 dated 15 January 2010 • Annual Budget EC

  6. Sustainability Coordinated planning and management Interagency cooperation Leveraging resources/program integration Interdisciplinary teams Public Involvement Trade-off evaluation Forecast future water resource demands Adaptive Management Watershed PrinciplesPGL #61

  7. Planning in a Collaborative EnvironmentEC 1105-2-409 • To enhance collaborative approach to water resources management • Watershed / system vs. site specific • Multiple purposes / multiple partnerships • To integrate others’ expertise, programs and financial support/leveraging of resources • To fully utilize flexibility and authority of Principles and Guidelines • Applies to project development in a watershed context • (New Principles and Guidelines will reflect these concepts)

  8. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Provides guidance on watershed planning for Integrated Water Resources Management • Emphasizes Systems Approach, Collaboration (Partnerships), Leveraging of Resources, Larger Geographic Areas • Follows Six Step CW Planning Process Framework • Output – Watershed or Strategic Plan • May identify potential Corps projects for further study • Have an interim Assessment (Study) Agreement Model

  9. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans Watershed Planning for IWRM - Identifies needs from any source - Develops a joint vision of a desired end state regardless of agency responsibility - Identifies potential Corps projects consistent with mission areas - Uses Corps planning capability to facilitate collaborative planning to identify technically sound, environmentally sustainable, and economically efficient means to achieve multiple goals.

  10. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans Systems Approach - Many competing demands and systems in a watershed - Land and water resources - Cumulative effects of any action in the system must be considered - Achieve interdependent , long term holistic solutions

  11. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Public Involvement, Collaboration, and Coordination - Three related but different activities - Purpose of all three is to maintain open channels of communication - Appendix B of ER 1105-2-100 - Shared Vision Planning - CEQ Handbook - Corps cannot relinquish its statutory decision-making responsibility

  12. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Leverage Resources - Allow Federal and non-Federal programs to work together over time • Share data, expertise, program, and funding with other Federal, State, Tribal and local governments • Use limited resources in a more integrated fashion to achieve a greater sum

  13. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Follow Six Step Planning Process Framework - Define Study Area - Identify Problems and Opportunities - Inventory and Forecast Conditions - Evaluate and Compare Alternative Approaches (2 steps) - Plan or Strategy Selection

  14. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Benefit Evaluations • Cost Estimates • Engineering • NEPA and Environmental Compliance • Real Estate • Data Quality and Model Quality Assurance

  15. EC 1105-2-411Watershed Plans • Study Process - Initial Assessment to identify a non-Federal sponsor and to define the scope, objective of the watershed study, prepare a Watershed Assessment Management Plan and negotiate a cost sharing agreement - $100,000. - Assessment is cost shared 75%/25% and sponsors may contribute their share in kind. - Must have a Review Plan - A non-profit may be a non-Federal sponsor - Interim 729 Assessment Agreement available - Review and approval at HQUSACE - Potential Corps projects must compete as feasibility new start

  16. NOTE!! • Watershed study – a study to plan a better way to manage water (and other) resources in a watershed (a watershed plan) • Watershed approach or – system approachare applicable to all projects, programs and activities – • Integrative, collaborative, multi-objective, interdependencies considered

  17. FY 12 BUDGET EC 11-2-19931 March 2010 Watershed studies – key attributes: • Identify a combination of recommended actions (a Watershed Management Plan) to be undertaken by various partners and stakeholders in order to achieve local, tribal, regional, and national water resources management goals identified in the study and may or may not identify further budgetable Corps studies or implementation projects. • Require team thinking about water resources development and management in the context of multiple purposes rather than single purposes, and, thus, facilitates the search for comprehensive and integrated solutions. • Improve opportunities for public and private groups to identify and achieve common goals by unifying on-going and future efforts and leveraging resources. • Leverage resources, including cost shared collaboration, and integrates programs and activities within and among Civil Works programs, and with other Federal, tribal state and nongovernmental organizations, to improve consistency and cost effectiveness;

  18. FY 12 BUDGET EC 11-2-19931 March 2010 Watershed studies are planning initiatives that have a multi-purpose and multi-objective scope and accommodate flexibility and collaboration in the planning process. As a minimum, the study area must encompass the region of an 8 digit HUC. Following the reconnaissance study, a study may proceed as a watershed assessment (75/25) under Section 729 of WRDA 86, as amended, or as a feasibility study accomplished in a watershed context in accordance with the standard feasibility study process (50/50).

  19. Section 729 of WRDA 86, as amended by Sec 202 WRDA 2000 and Section 2010 of WRDA 07 • Examine needs relating to: • Ecosystem protection & restoration; flood damage reduction, navigation & ports; watershed protection; water supply; drought preparedness • Cooperate w/ Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, EPA • Consult w/ tribal, state & local govt entities • Cost Sharing 75/25; in-kind credit allowed • Original Guidance Memo 29 May 2001 …(continued)

  20. Section 729 of WRDA 86, as amended by Sec 202 WRDA 2000 and Section 2010 of WRDA 07 • Products can be: • Plans or management documents that identify actions to be taken by partners and stakeholders to meet the objectives of the plan, • Not just projects recommended for Corps implementation. • New Guidance in EC 1105-2-411

  21. Watershed Planning Corps Vision All Think problem solving, not projects. Stakeholders collaborate by sharing their: NGO’s Leveraged Resources (Federal, State, and Local) • Experience • Resources • Data • Tools • Skills State Agencies Tribes in order to develop a multi-purpose Strategic Watershed Plan Federal Agencies

  22. Watershed PlanningCorps Planning Pathways Corps Involvement Level Corps as Participating Stakeholder Corps as the Lead Stakeholder • Skills • Experience • Tools • Data • Authorities Participate as Needed Initial Watershed Assessment (Reconnaissance-like) Traditional Reconnaissance Study (Watershed Approach Using EC-409) Final Watershed Assessment (Feasibility-like) Traditional Feasibility Study Watershed Process Potential Project Spin-offs Potential Project Spin-offs Watershed Plan Report with Recommendations Watershed Management Plan No Additional Corps Involvement (Participate in Updates) Report for Information to Congress Corps Project for Design & Construction Project Path Watershed Path Technical Support Path

  23. Why Watershed Plans Fail to Achieve Desired Goals • Planning activities conducted at too great of a scale • Plan was a one-time study rather than long-term management process • Lack of stakeholder involvement and ownership • Skirting of real land use/management issues • Plan was too long or complex • Recommendations were too general • Failure to identify and address conflicts • Source: Center for Watershed Protection