USACE Reports and Manuals
Beyond technical manuals, USACE has produced several manuals, reports, and guides useful to planners.
Best Practices for Virtual Engagement
This document guides USACE planners through key decisions when designing stakeholder engagement programs, with a focus on virtual outreach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report establishes guiding principles for effective stakeholder engagement and provides resources on collaborative technology tools and is appropriate for use by entry-level to senior planners.
Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide
This guide provides general recommendations for the format and content of USACE feasibility reports with an integrated Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The guide can be used as a starting point for nearly all feasibility reports and is appropriate for use by entry-level to senior planners. It may also be used as a reference for policy reviewers and technical specialists. The format described in the guide is not mandatory.
Guide for Preparing District Environmental Justice Strategic Plan
The Guide for Preparing District Environmental Justice Strategic Plans is intended to assist districts in the development of tailored plans, per the direction provided in the 16 December 2022 Director of Civil Works memorandum, Implementation of the Interim Environmental Justice Strategic Plan. The Guide includes specific instructions and a template (Section 5) for use by district personnel. Districts may adjust the template to their specific needs as each Area of Responsibility is unique; however, the primary components must be included as specified in the memorandum.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusions Survey
In 2018, USACE compiled information on the use of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) categorical exclusions by the districts, including frequency of use of categorical exclusions and the exclusion categories most frequently used in NEPA compliance for all activities including planning studies, operations and maintenance work, real estate outgrants, and Section 408 reviews.
Planner Workforce Development Guide
This document provides PCoP members guidance in holistic development based on their individual career goals and the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to excel in USACE water resources planning. MAY 2023 UPDATE: The Environmental sub-CoP "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities" (KSAs) have been added to Appendix B. The Career Roadmaps and KSAs for the remaining sub-CoPs are still under development and will be added later this year.
USACE Environmental Justice Scorecard (Phase One)
The Environmental Justice Phase One Scorecard provides a baseline assessment of the federal government's efforts to secure environmental justice. It outlines steps taken, processes implemented, and other actions by federal agencies in 2021 and 2022 to help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration's environmental justice goals and the implementation of Executive Order 14008. Establishing this baseline will help measure the progress of federal agencies over time, creating a tool for transparency and accountability.
Justice40 Initiative Covered Programs List for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Version 1.0
This is the inaugural list of eleven USACE programs covered under the Justice40 Initiative. The Justice40 Initiative was established by President Biden in Executive Order 14008 on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Justice40 covered programs are Federal programs that make covered investments in any one of the following seven categories: climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure.
South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACS) Coastal Program Guide
The objective of the South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACS) Coastal Program Guide is to provide accurate accessible information regarding the coastal resilience programs and partnerships available in the region. The Guide categorizes federal or regional programs as: Prepare, Absorb and Recover, and Adapt. The Guide also highlights tools and services such as disaster information, partnership and research opportunities, guidance and training documents, and data and web map applications.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Doctrine Smart Book
This report provides an overview of current Engineer Regulations and how they fit into the "doctrinal map" of capstone regulations, keystone publications, technical publications, and organizational publications.
Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice (CPR CoP) Climate Assessment Agency Technical Review (ATR) and Policy and Legal Compliance Review (P&LCR) Standards of Practice
This document summarizes review requirements and best practices for both Climate Preparedness and Resilience (CPR) Agency Technical Review and Policy and Legal Compliance Review.
Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide
This Feasibility Report Summary Format and Content Guide is intended to assist users in the development of the content and structure of the Report Summary. The Report Summary is initiated prior to the Alternative Milestone, is updated at each subsequent milestone, and is used to support briefings, decision-related meetings and hearings.
International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management
The International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management (NNBF Guidelines) is a collaborative consolidated guide meant to advance and revolutionize sustainable infrastructure and flood risk management solutions.
Planning Quick Takes: Timely Topics for Risk-Informed Planning Studies - Version 2.0
Planning Quick Takes: Timely Topics for Risk-Informed Planning Studies is intended for all USACE planners, whether novice, journeyman, or senior, who may benefit from learning about the various tools and techniques that can collectively be used to facilitate the iterative six-step risk-informed planning process. Formerly known as the Planning Mentor Handbook, Planning Quick Takes provides a summary of many risk-informed planning concepts, including examples and references to other sources for more detail.
IWR 2020-WP-01 - Managed Aquifer Recharge and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience
Storing water underground (managed aquifer recharge, or MAR) can augment surface storage and increase resilience of USACE projects and improve our nations water security. USACE and its partners are using, have considered or are considering using MAR, or conjunctive management of ground- and surface water, in at least 17 states in six of the seven USACE divisions in the Continental United States. USACE is using or considering MAR to help fulfill its primary missions of flood risk management and aquatic ecosystem restoration, and for secondary purposes such as drought resilience, water supply, and reducing saltwater intrusion.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-01_Rev2: Calculating Interest During Construction for Nonstructural Alternatives
This Guide establishes a best practice method for calculating interest during construction (IDC) expenditures for proposed nonstructural alternatives. Unlike the construction period used to calculate the IDC for structural alternatives, the construction period for nonstructural alternatives can be based on the time to construct one increment of the alternative.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-05: Policy Considerations for Nonstructural Measures
This Guide identifies policy considerations for each type of nonstructural measure commonly considered as part of USACE feasibility studies.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-06: Structure Aggregation Methods Used in the Formulation and Evaluation of Nonstructural Alternatives
This Guide establishes a best practice method for the aggregation of structures to be used in the formulation and evaluation of nonstructural alternatives. A disclaimer was added to this Guide in November 2021.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-07: Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 & Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
This Guide establishes best practices for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA), for all USACE nonstructural projects.
ERDC/EL SR-19-9: A Systems Approach to Ecosystem Adaptive Management: A USACE Technical Guide
This technical guide, developed by the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), presents an operational definition of adaptive management and describes a scalable approach to developing and implementing adaptive management plans for USACE ecosystem restoration programs and projects. This guide is intended for USACE program and project managers, project delivery team (PDT) members, and technical staff involved in efforts related to managing ecosystem restoration, fish, wildlife, and wetland mitigation.
Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations
Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations provides potential sponsors with information on the programs and processes available for non-federal partners and USACE representatives to work together to address the Nation's water resources problems. The Guide includes an overview of the USACE Civil Works Program and describes how USACE can work with local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies and other non-Federal partners on activities ranging from technical services and advice to planning and constructing water resources projects. A previous version of this document was originally published as the Project Partnership Kit by IWR back in 1996 and revised in 2001.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-02: Considerations for Estimating Participation Rates in Voluntary Nonstructural Measures
This Guide establishes best practices for estimating participation rates in USACE nonstructural alternatives containing voluntary elements.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-03: Sensitivity Analysis for Participation Rates in Nonstructural Alternatives
This Guide applies to the planning process for all USACE flood risk management (FRM) and coastal storm risk management (CSRM) nonstructural measures.
USACE National Nonstructural Committee Best Practice Guide 2020-04: Public Law 91-646: Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970
This Guide establishes best practices for considering Public Law (P.L.) 91-646, Uniform Relocation Assistance and the Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 in nonstructural assessments.
Planning Manual Part II: Risk-Informed Planning
The Planning Manual Part II: Risk Informed Planning documents the state of the practice in risk-informed planning for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning Community of Practice. It is a continuation of the original Planning Manual, published by the USACE Institute for Water Resources in 1996.
Principles of Risk Analysis for Water Resources
This report represents an effort to document the state of the practice in risk analysis for use by US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Transparent and defensible analysis provides a critical piece of information for decision making. It is incumbent on the analyst to inform others about sources and validity of all the data, models, and assumptions that are part of the analysis. The analyst must also acknowledge and highlight the key uncertainties by reporting a range of values with their likelihoods when possible. Additionally, the impacts of uncertainty on the results, and the overall confidence in the values of decision variables presented to decision makers must be part of any decision document.
Identification and Engagement of Socially Vulnerable Populations in the USACE Decision Making Process
This primer, published by the USACE Institute for Water Resources, presents the basics on how to identify and engage socially vulnerable populations during USACE water resources studies and processes and gives a rationale for the need to focus on these populations at risk.
A Guide to Public Alerts and Warnings for Dam and Levee Emergencies
The purpose of this guidebook is to assist emergency managers in issuing more timely and effective public alert and warning messages for floods caused by dam breaches, controlled dam releases, and levee breaches or overtopping.
Environmental Evaluation and Compliance within the SMART Planning Framework
This paper provides a general overview of how the environmental evaluation and compliance process fits into the SMART Planning framework. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) milestones are emphasized. More guidance to follow that is specific to the Endangered Species Act and other agency coordination milestones.
SMART Planning Feasibility Studies: A Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services
This guide was developed through a collaboration between the Corps, USFWS and NMFS. The Guide provides an overview of the SMART Planning process and demonstrates how key environmental coordination and compliance activities fit into that process. The Guide highlights opportunities for engagement and coordination at all stages of a planning study, re-emphasizing the need for early coordination.
Social Vulnerability eXplorer (SV-X) Data Development Tool and Analysis Tool User Guide
The SV-X tools provide a data production and analysis capability that was development by the Army Corps of Engineers to describe the spatial distribution of vulnerable populations in hazard zones associated with flooding, storm surge, wind impacts, and other hazards. SV-X enables the USACE planner to characterize impacts flood risks have on people and communities. Risk to vulnerable populations can be described for the project area to help ensure that the interest of those most vulnerable are considered and quantified during the planning process. Communicating the socioeconomic implications of project alternatives can help differentiate the choices that each solution presents.
Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) for Coastal Resilience
ERDC technical report cataloguing natural and nature based features and measures for coastal resilience projects.
Applying Other Social Effects In Alternatives Analysis (Report Number: IWR-2013-R-03)
This paper is meant to assist planners at the District level by providing a practical framework and approach for the use of other social effects (OSE) in alternative development and evaluation. The framework and approach are general - planners are encouraged to adapt the process as appropriate based on the local conditions and experience.
National Economic Development Manuals
These manuals provide guidance on conducting economic analysis on Corps Civil Works planning projects.
Other Social Effects: A Primer (Report Number: IWR-2013-R-02)
This primer is intended to help those in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and those who work with USACE understand the contribution that Other Social Effects (OSE) analysis can make to developing sound water resources plans. The primer looks at how OSE analysis is conducted in the planning process and what tools and methods are available for accomplishing it.
SMART Planning Charette Handbook
A charette is a structured, collaborative session in which a group comes together to develop a solution to a problem. The SMART Planning Charette Handbook provides additional details and information for the teams undertaking a planning charette and the support team that will be assisting them.
Social Vulnerability Analysis: A Comparison of Tools
The purpose of this white paper is to provide the rationale for the choice of the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) as the foundational social vulnerability method for characterizing social vulnerability as employed in the 2011 IWR handbook, Social Vulnerability Analysis Methods for Corps Planning. The paper compares SoVI to three other available social vulnerability analysis tools.
Considering the Appropriate Level of Detail in a Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study
A 22 August 2012 guide to help Project Delivery Teams walk through the process of conducting a Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study.
Developing a Feasibility Study with Multiple Planning Objectives
This paper provides an overview of formulation and evaluation approaches for planners developing a feasibility study with multiple planning objectives.
ECO-PCX Ecosystem Restoration (ER) Planning SMART Paper: Developing Problem and opportunity Statements
A 29 June 2012 paper that was developed by the National Ecosystem Restoration Planning Center of Expertise (ECO-PCX) to increase planners' awareness of planning issues specific to Ecosystem (ER) studies and projects. The purpose of this paper is to provide tips and best practices for developing problem and opportunity statements.
Ecosystem Restoration (ER) Planning SMART Paper: Resource Significance and its Tie to Performance Based Budgeting
A 26 June 2012 paper that was developed by the National Ecosystem Restoration Planning Center of Expertise (ECO-PCX) to increase planners' awareness of planning issues specific to Ecosystem (ER) studies and projects. The purpose of this paper is to provide information on resource significance and budgeting for teams working on Ecosystem Restoration planning studies.
Ecosystem Restoration (ER) Planning SMART: Hydrology and Hydraulics - Draft
A 3 July 2012 paper that was developed by the National Ecosystem Restoration Planning Center of Expertise (ECO-PCX) to increase planners' awareness of planning issues specific to Ecosystem (ER) studies and projects. This paper discusses how H&H analyses and input fit into the planning process, the categories of tools, when they might be used, data needs, and the purpose of the tools.
Review of Civil Works Projects: Planning SMART Guide
High level overview of internal review processes conducted as part of USACE feasibility studies and project development.
Social Vulnerability Analysis Methods for Corps Planning (Report Number: IWR-11-R-07)
This paper presents two practical methods for identifying socially vulnerable groups and illustrates how the information they provide about social vulnerability, the drivers of vulnerability, and their spatial distribution in flood hazard zones can be used in the planning process to assist in identifying problems and opportunities, developing planning objectives, creating and evaluating management measures, and evaluating project alternatives.
How to Plan a Water Resources Project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Tribal Governments
The Tribal Nations Community of Practice has written this booklet to provide you, our Tribal partners, with a better understanding of how best to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Our processes and methods can be perceived as complex, and we hope to make them clearer for you.
Handbook on Applying "Other Social Effects" Factors in Corps of Engineers Water Resources Planning (Report Number: IWR-09-R-4)
This handbook describes how the social effects of water resources problems and solutions can be meaningfully addressed and included in the USACE water resources planning process. The handbook establishes the conceptual framework for other social effects (OSE) and applies it to the USACE planning process and business lines, presenting a catalogue of OSE assessment tools and indicators and views on measurement and presentation of social effects information.
Theoretical Underpinnings of the Other Social Effects Account
This report, published by the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, was prepared to support the application of collaborative planning, particularly the use of the Other Social Effects account in project development and analysis in the Civil Works program.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Policy Pocket Reference
This Pocket Reference has been developed to provide a succinct summary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorities and policies available in 2005 that address its water resources missions.
IWR Report 96-PS-4 Water Supply Handbook
This document is intended to serve as a comprehensive desk top reference on water supply topics that are spread throughout a voluminous body of Corps regulations, manuals, technical letters and memoranda, and also literature from the private sector.
The Planning Primer is a condensed version of the Planning Manual. It is an introduction to planning and how it is done using the six-step planning process for those who have no formal training in planning.
Environmental Desk Reference
The Environmental Desk Reference is a document intended to serve as a desk top reference on environmental statutes and executive policy for Corps of Engineers personnel. It contains summary profiles of environmental laws applicable to the Civil Works program.
The Planning Manual describes what planning is and how it is best practiced by the Corps of Engineers. It focuses on water resources planning, though the principles, tools and methodologies discussed are equally applicable to other planning functions as well. The Manual walks planners through the six-step planning process used by the Corps and applicable to all the Corps' water resources and other planning functions.
Project Partnership Kit
The 1996 Project Partnership Kit was updated and republished by IWR in 2019 as Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations.
Cost Effectiveness Analysis for Environmental Planning: Nine EASY Steps
This document was developed to help USACE planners conduct cost effectiveness and incremental cost analyses in planning for environmental restoration and mitigation. It presents step-by-step instructions about how to conduct the analyses, using an example to illustrate their application to a planning problem.