IWR Mission: Economics

Economics Tools and Software

Related Activities

Economic Software and Applications

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As part of its civil works mission, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of federally-authorized shore protection projects. To solve the complex problem of modeling and measuring the costs and benefits of protecting existing infrastructure against erosion, inundation and wave attack damages, researchers at the ERDC Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) and the US Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources (IWR) created Beach-fx. The model consists of a Monte-Carlo simulation that evaluates reach erosion, physical storm impacts and damages that occur from a storm passing a shore.  The goal of this project is to produce a tool to assist economists and engineers in coastal nourishment and rehabilitation studies.

For more information visit: http://www.beach-fx.com/

 Container Model Suite of Tools (CMST)

The Container Model Suite of Tools (CMST) is a set of desktop programs and associated databases developed by IWR and designed to assist Corps planners and analysts working on port studies. The CMST is used to measures the economic effects of modifications to deep draft harbors as overall reductions in transit times and associated changes in total vessel operating costs.  The suite includes HarborSym, IWR Tide Tool, A-DAPP, W-DAPP and Loading Tools.

For more information visit: https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Economics/Container-Model-Suite-of-Tools-CMST/

 Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) Software
 IWR Planning Suite

The IWR Planning Suite is a water resources investment decision support tool originally built for the formulation and evaluation of ecosystem restoration alternative plans; however, it is now more widely used by all USACE business lines for evaluation of actions involving monetary and non-monetary cost and benefits. 

For more information visit: https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Economics/IWR-Planning-Suite/

 Civil Works Regional Economic System (RECONS) 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regional Economic System (RECONS) RECONS is a user-friendly model and the only USACE certified Regional Economic Development (RED) model for agency-wide use. RECONS automates calculations of the effect of Corps projects, programs, and infrastructure affect regional economies across the nation. This information helps demonstrate the importance of existing and potential Corps investments to decision-makers, project stakeholders and communities..

For more information visit: https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Economics/Regional-Economic-System-RECONS/

 Social Vulnerability Index - Explorer (SOVI)

This software allows users to explore social vulnerability analysis.  Exposure to flooding and other hazards often fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable in our communities. 

For more information visit: https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Social-Vulnerability-Index-Explorer/


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Since 1971, IWR has help support the development and revisions of the National Economic Development (NED) Manuals to support field economists in their work across multiple business lines.  This series serves as a foundation for much of USACE's planning economic analyses to determine the "NED" costs and benefits.

View the manuals at https://publibrary.planusace.us/#/series/National%20Economic%20Development%20Manuals


2012 Navigation Economic Technologies (NETS) Program and Publications

The Navigation Economic Technologies (NETS) program was established to provide the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with independently verified, objective economic models, tools, and techniques for evaluating current and future navigation needs.

For more information:


IWR Library

IWR has published many documents, manuals, and guides on economic analysis.  These publications can be found in the IWR Library.  

USACE Chief Economist

IWR hosts the the Chief Economist for the Corps of Engineers who serves as chief policy and technical advisor and consultant for economic analysis of water resources projects.   In that role, he serves as Civil Works chief economic expert for the Civil Works program.  An important activity is to organize and provide leadership to the Corps economics Community of Practice.  Additionally, he provides authoritative direct consultation and advice to USACE Headquarters (HQUSACE) staff and the USACE field for difficult evaluation issues.  This is a USACE-wide position so customers include various elements of USACE districts, divisions, centers and headquarters.  Products include: 1) organization and development of reports for the biannual economics leadership meetings, 2) economic advice to HQUSACE and the field on economic matters, and 3) representation of the Corps on interagency committees and task forces among many activities


IWR offers and supports various training and webinars throughout the year and as requested.  On-site or custom training for model or subject specific topics is also available as requested. 

For more information: