IWR Mission: Civil Works Planning and Policy Support

Civil Works Support Activities

Related Missions

Civil Works Project Planning

Planning plays a vital role in supporting the Corps of Engineers Civil Works water resources development mission. To learn more about planning within USACE, visit the Headquarter Project Planning page at: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Project-Planning/

At IWR, we support our planning teams at our districts, divisions and Headquarters through:

IWR also supports the Planning Centers of Expertise, the Planning Community of Practice (PCoP) and the four planning Sub-CoPs: Cultural Resources, Environmental, Economics, and Plan Formulation.

IWR Activities to Support Civil Works Project Planning

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Coastal Storm Risk Management

IWR supports several Coastal projects and programs and work in coordination with the Coastal Storm Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise of various initiatives.  Some specific activities include:

  • Coastal Engineering Research Board (CERB)
  • Coastal Systems Portfolio Initiative (CSPI)
  • National Ocean Policy (NOP)
  • Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE)

For more information:


Economic Models, Guidance and Other Support

IWR routinely supports Headquarters in creating or revising economic-related guidance, publishing economic manuals, creating economic and decision support tools, and providing training to the USACE field staff.  IWR also is home to the USACE Chief Economist who leads the USACE Economics Sub-Community of Practice under the Planning Community of Practice.

For more information:


Future Directions Program

The Future Directions Program seeks to anticipate strategic and operational level requirements for USACE Civil Works and strategic, operational and tactical level requirements for IWR.  This often includes planning activities among other Civil Works support. Using integrated teams, this program will identify initiatives that conceptualize water resources policies and needs for the purpose of informing and assisting in prioritization of activities by senior leadership. Working with the IWR Director and Management Team, Future Direction activities will also evaluate systemic IWR activities to identify opportunities that improve the efficiency and quality of IWR products and programs.  

For more information:


Risk Analysis Gateway

The Risk Analysis Gateway was created to provide Corps employees with training, tools and resources that would enable more effective management, assessment, and  communication of risks faced each day no matter the project type or phase.

For more information:


Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) 2014, Section 7001 Support

IWR supports Headquarters on the annual "WRRDA 7001" data collection process.  We help manage and support the online application to collect proposals from the public.  We also help process and review data.

Project Planning Software and Applications

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Economic Models, Guidance and Other Support

IWR routinely supports Headquarters in creating or revising economic-related guidance, publishing economic manuals, creating economic and decision support tools, and providing training to the USACE field staff.  IWR also is home to the USACE Chief Economist who leads the USACE Economics Sub-Community of Practice under the Planning Community of Practice.

For more information:


HEC - Sustainable Rivers Program (SRP) Software

Technologies for simulating reservoirs and ecosystems are being developed and applied at SRP sites in concert with changes in operations and advances in scientific understanding. These tools allow scientists and water managers to better understand the tradeoffs between different uses of water and explore management scenarios that are not easily tested through implementation. SRP has also advanced water resources modeling through development of a new computer program to help define environmental flows. This program, named HEC-RPT, makes it easier for water managers and scientists to formulate different ways to manage rivers.

Computer programs allow scientists, engineers and stakeholders to evaluate potential water management scenarios. These tools help U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Nature Conservancy staff better understand and communicate tradeoffs between different water release plans.

For more information:

Visit https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/sustainablerivers/software/


Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) Software

The Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), an organization within the Institute for Water Resources, is the designated Center of Expertise for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the technical areas of surface and groundwater hydrology, river hydraulics and sediment transport, hydrologic statistics and risk analysis, reservoir system analysis, planning analysis, real-time water control management and a number of other closely associated technical subjects. HEC supports Corps field offices, headquarters, and laboratories by providing technical methods and guidance, water resources models and associated utilities, training and workshops, accomplishing research and development, and performing technical assistance and special projects. The products that are developed from these activities are for the Corps but are available to the public and may be freely downloaded from this web site.

For more information:

Visit https://www.hec.usace.army.mil/


IWR-APT (Assistance for Planning Teams)

IWR-APT is an online application that integrates the USACE planning community subject matter expertise with a new online risk register, decision log, decision management plan, study issue checklist, and deliverables tool. 

  • Create, edit, analyze and manage studies
  • Find, follow, and learn!
  • “Latest and greatest” document guides; no fuss printing
  • “Just-in-time” help
  • Organized study resources; maintain read-aheads 
  • Encourages collaboration, transparency, accountability,
  • consistency, quality products, and sharing lessons learned.

For more information:


Planner Database

The Planning Community of Practice's Planner Database Tool records, organizes, and reports the knowledge, skills and abilities of USACE planners filtered by Sub-Community of Practice (Sub-CoP).  This is a hub for Corps Planners and those that work with them to:

  • Identify and find planners in each district and Planning Sub-CoP;
  • Gather Community statistics; record training and identify training needs;
  • Track Agency Technical Review (ATR) Certification and find ATR Certified Planners
  • Track Water Resources Certified Planners (WRCP)

For more information:


Planning Assistance Library (PAL) and Ecosystem Model Library

A mobile friendly digital library that contains pdfs, powerpoints, videos and more.   Search geospatially, by project, topic, type, etc.  Each district can elect a collection admin to manage their items.  

Top Features:

  • Point and click on map to find multi-media project resources
  • Districts manage their INTERNAL and EXTERNAL collections within entire library — any USACE users can recommend items, but only experts can approve
  • Efficient searching & effective results: high quality resources; search by Series, Business Areas, Audience & more
  • “Favorites” feature — NEVER lose track of your critical project resources again
  • Aligned and connected with USACE Digital Library


  • Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX)
  • Ecosystem Restoration Model Library maintained by the Ecosystem Restoration Planning Center of Expertise (ECO-PCX)
  • Institute for Water Resources
    • Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center
    • Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC)
  • Jacksonville District Planning Branch
  • and more!

For more information:


Social Vulnerability Index - Explorer (SOVI-X)

This software allows users to perform social vulnerability analysis.  Social vulnerability analysis is conducted by overlaying spatial distribution of population characteristics with hazard areas, and tallying populations and subgroups at risk by their sources and relative vulnerabilities.  SOVI-X (Social Vulnerability Index-Explorer) is a graphical user Interface data extraction and formatting framework. An area’s social vulnerability is calculated from US Census Bureau demographic, socioeconomic, and housing unit data, and represents social vulnerability as a single numeric value provided to each census unit. The SoVI value for each census unit is a statistical measurement of its vulnerability in relationship to the average vulnerability of neighboring census units across a broader region (parent area), as expressed by a Z-Score.

For more information:

 IWR Planning Suite Software

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:

 Simsuite Application

SimSuite is a web-based, interactive, and customizable application built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Institute for Water Resources, in cooperation with the Readiness Support Center (RSC). While integrating relevant mission area information and data, Simsuite provides an easy-to-use Geographical Information System (GIS) platform and tool for team communication, planning, and basic analyses. SimSuite, originally developed for Emergency Management, is now used across mission areas by planners, environmental specialists, engineers, and others.