spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Toolbox Home Link to Planner's Library Link to Project Delivery Link to People Link to Tools Link to Processes Link to Training Link to Search Link to Contact Us spacer
spacer Description spacer spacer

Red divider graphic

Study Initiation Phase
1: Initial Problem Identification
2: Congressional Study Authority
3: Letter of Intent from Sponsor
4: Congress Appropriates Study Funds
5: Execute Feasibility Cost Share Agreement and Secure Sponsor Study Funding
6: Scope and Conduct Study
7: Release Draft Feasibility Report for Concurrent Review
8: Complete Final Feasibility Report for Coordination and Submission
9: Policy Review of Final Feasibility Report
10: Federal and State Agency Review
11: Sign Chief of Engineer's Report
12: Administration Review of Chief of Engineer's Report
13: Congress Appropriates PED Funds
14: Execute Design Agreement and Secure Sponsor Design Funding
15: Conduct Pre-construction Engineering and Design activities
16: Congress Authorizes Project
17: Congress Appropriates Construction Funds
18: Execute Project Partnership Agreement and Secure Sponsor Construction Funding
19: Implement Project
20: Operation, Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation
Water Resources Project Delivery


    The Corps must be authorized to participate in the construction or modification of a water resources project. The authorization can be project-specific, programmatic, or general. While most Corps authorizations are in legislation " usually included in a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) " some Corps studies are undertaken under other authorities. Your local Corps District can help determine if there is existing authority for the construction or modification of a water resources project.

    While necessary, authorizations are insufficient for a Corps participation in construction of a water resources project to proceed; the Corps" ability to act on an authorization also requires Congressional funding or "appropriations." Once a project is authorized, appropriations are sought through the annual Energy and Water Development appropriations acts. A study may receive direct funding via the appropriations act or through a "Work Plan" developed by the Corps to designate Congressional appropriations.

    Once a project has secured federal funding, the study's non-federal sponsor and the Corps can sign a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA). The PPA outlines Federal and non-federal responsibilities for construction and for Operation, Maintenance, Repair, and Rehabilitation (OMRR&R) of the project once construction is complete.

    After the PPA is signed, the non-federal partner can begin acquisition of the real estate required for project implementation, as established during the feasibility study. The construction is then performed by private contractors with oversight by Corps construction staff. After the project has completed its final construction contract, a final inspection conducted to ensure that the project has been completed as designed. If the project will be operated and maintained by the non-federal partner, USACE then transfers the project to the sponsor along with an operation and maintenance manual.

    Key Guidance for Corps Planners Additional Resources

  • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100: Planning Guidance Notebook, Full Publication (2000 Expired 12/1/2023)
    ER 1105-2-100, the Planning Guidance Notebook will be superseded by several different pieces of new guidance. For the full suite of guidance replacing the PGN, visit the Core Civil Works Planning Guidance page.
  • Engineering and Construction Bulletins
    Engineering and Construction Bulletins provide interim guidance (directive and policy) as well as "for information" updates.
  • Engineer Regulation 1150-2-302: Local Cooperation - Annual Report on Local Cooperation Agreements (RCS: DAEN-CWO-44) (1981)
    This regulation states the procedure for reporting requirements of Section 221 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-611).
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1150: Engineering and Design for Civil Works Program (1999)
    This regulation defines engineering responsibilities, requirements, and procedures during the design, construction, and operations phases.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-131: Water Resources Policies and Authorities - Local Cooperation Agreements for New Start Construction Projects (1989)
    This regulation provides guidance on procedures and responsibilities for developing, submitting and obtaining approval of LCAs for new construction starts (not CAPs). This ER was refined significantly by Policy Guidance Letter No. 44.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-1-12: Quality Management (2006)
    Contains information on Project Management Plans, Independent Technical Review, and Risk Management.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-18: Reimbursement for Nonfederal Participation in Civil Works Projects (1989)
    This regulation provides guidance on use of Section 215 of the Flood Control Act of 1968, to reimburse non-federal public bodies for construction of part of an authorized federal project.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-29: Water Resources Policies and Authorities - General Credit for Flood Control (1987)
    This regulation establishes guidelines and procedures for application of Section 104 of Public Law 99-662.
  • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-30: Principles and Standards for Water and Related Land Resources Planning: Level C; Final Rule (1980)
    This final rule establishes the principles and standards for Level C water and related land resources planning. The purpose of the rule is to provide Federal agencies with uniform requirements for Level C implementation studies. Planning in accordance with this rule is intended to ensure consistency among the agencies and consistency with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the CEQ NEPA regulations.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-504: Construction Of Water Resource Development Projects By Non-Federal Interests (2017)
    This Regulation provides policy guidance for implementation of Section 204 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, as amended by Section 1014(b) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 and Section 1127 of the WRDA 2016 (33 United States Code (U.S.C.) 2232). Section 204 authorizes non-federal interests to undertake construction of certain water resources development projects, with potential credit or reimbursement of the Federal share of that construction, subject to several requirements. Separate guidance is provided in Engineer Regulation (ER) 1165-2-209 regarding non-Federal interests undertaking a feasibility study under Section 203 of WRDA 1986, as amended, and in ER 1165-2-211 regarding operation and maintenance of improvements carried out by non-Federal interests under Section 204(f) of WRDA 1986, as amended.
  • The Planner's Library
    Links to Corps guidance, fact sheets, and lessons learned.
  • Engineer Regulation 415-1-15: Construction Time Extensions for Weather (1989)
    To provide guidance for establishing contract time adjustments for delays resulting from unusually severe weather.
  • Engineer Regulation 415-1-17: Contractor Performance Evaluations (2012)
    This regulation establishes procedures for evaluating construction contractor performance
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy (2021)
    This Engineer Regulation (ER) establishes policy and procedures for a comprehensive accountable review strategy for Civil Works by providing a seamless process for review of all projects throughout the lifecycle. This ER will ensure the quality and credibility of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) decision, implementation, and other work products. It reinforces quality and comprehensive review are equal to cost and schedule compliance. This ER supersedes Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Water Resource Policies and Authorities, Review Policy for Civil Works which expired on 31 March 2020.
  • Engineer Regulation 415-1-16: Fiscal Management (1993)
    This regulation establishes the policies and procedures to be used in the financial management of the construction function at the district/operating MSC level. It also establishes procedures for the management of the supervision and administration (S&A) of construction accounts at these levels.
  • Engineer Regulation 415-345-13: Financial Closeout (1989)
    This regulation establishes policy for financial closeout of projects after acceptance of military construction contracts.
  • Engineer Regulation 415-345-38: Transfer and Warranties (2000)
    This Engineer Regulation prescribes USACE policy and procedures for the transfer of completed construction projects and for implementing warranties.
  • Engineer Regulation 1180-1-6 Construction Quality Management (1995)
    This regulation provides the general policy and guidance for establishing quality management procedures in the execution of construction contracts. It defines the related responsibilities and roles of both the contractor and the government in the management of quality in the construction of facilities.
  • WRDAs and Related Laws
  • Model Project Partnership Agreements
    To streamline implementation and achieve national consistency, policy compliance, legal sufficiency, and equitable treatment of project sponsors, the Corps has developed models for drafting project partnership agreements.
  • Civil Works Study and Project Partnerships (2015)
    Introduction to the partnership between USACE and non-federal sponsors in developing a feasibility study and recommendation of a Civil Works water resources project.
  • Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations (2019)
    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.
  • Webinars

    • USACE Infrastructure Strategy: UIS Overview and P3 Review (3 March)
      Mr. Edward (Eddie) Belk, Jr., P.E., SES, Director of Operations and Regulatory, Civil Works Directorate, discussed the challenges and opportunities the Corps has with its infrastructure and presented an overview of alternative financing approaches. Alternative financing approaches, including P3s (public-private partnerships) and P4s (public-public-private partnerships), are a key component of the Corps