First Take on Water Resources Conference Report: Lacks Necessary Reforms, Hikes Spending

Emily Goff /

After six months of negotiations, the House–Senate conference report dubbed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act has surfaced.

It would authorize new Army Corps of Engineers projects having to do with inland waterways, locks and dams, harbors, beaches, and related matters. At 186 pages of legislative text, there is plenty of room for reforms. Whether it properly addresses crucial reforms to the Corps (or lets missteps overshadow any attempts at reform) is another matter:

The conference report makes small progress by encouraging more efficient project study and approval at the Corps and more involvement by the private sector and non-federal entities. However, it fails to address the root problems of poor prioritization, outdated analysis, and a sprawling mission, which plague the Corps.