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Posted 3/8/2012

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA –March 8, 2012. USACE IWR has published “Towards Integrated Water Resources Management: A Conceptual Framework for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies.” The report considers how contemporary principles of “Integrated Water Resources Management”(IWRM) could potentially be woven as an integrated process into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) planning framework.

Today, IWRM is being advocated as a preferred framework for meeting contemporary water management challenge. Many observers have noted that current USACE guidance for Civil Works project planning falls short of that ideal. For example, the Section 216 reports from the National Research Council noted a need to focus attention in USACE planning studies to multiple objectives and tradeoffs, better account for uncertainty, and accommodate the concepts of adaptive management, stakeholder collaboration, and systems analysis for watershed-scale planning and evaluation. These planning concepts and more are encompassed by the principles of IWRM.

To investigate how IWRM principles might play a larger role in USACE planning studies, the leadership of the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) asked Leonard Shabman, Resident Scholar at Resources for the Future and IWR Visiting Scholar, and Paul Scodari, IWR Senior Economist, to develop a conceptual framework for USACE planning that integrates IWRM principles in a holistic way. The resulting report is being made available for review in order to stimulate thoughtful dialogue and to facilitate the exchange of ideas relevant to incorporating IWRM principles in Corps planning. Corps staff, other Federal agency and non-Federal agency staff, and the general public are asked to share their observations and insights on any part or the entirety of the framework. Information on how to submit comments is contained in the report forward.

Reviewers should note that this report is written in the form and structure of current USACE planning guidance in order to help readers to identify how and where IWRM principles could be woven as an integrated process into the USACE planning framework; however, it is only a conceptual paper that does not reflect official policy development by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The report reflects the views of the authors alone, and its publication does not represent any position or policy of the Executive Branch, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or Institute for Water Resources, nor does it imply any official endorsement of the report contents by those entities.

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