Revised Guide for Federal Water Management Studies Needs Improvement – New Report


In late 2009, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed revisions to the federal “Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines (P&G) for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies.”  A new report from the National Research Council says although an update to the P&G is timely, clarification and greater specification of several aspects of the new document are needed as the CEQ proceeds with changes.


Since the P&G was issued by the U.S. Water Resources Council in 1983, it has guided water resources project planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Changes in the national water resources landscape and to planning methods and principles over time prompted Congress to call for its revision in 2007.  Subsequently, the CEQ drafted “Proposed National Objectives, Principles, and Standards for Water and Related Resources Implementation Studies,” which offers revisions to a portion of the 1983 document.  The Research Council committee that reviewed this document found it ambiguous in specifying the agencies, programs, studies, and projects to which the proposed revisions would apply.  The committee also said that proposed planning principles and steps are inconsistent and lack sufficient coherence in defining a process for water project planning or implementation. 


A review of Proposed revisions to the federal principles and guidelines water resources planning document is available for immediate release. Reporters may obtain copies by contacting the Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail