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Congress takes up WRDA

Since 2014, Congress has enacted Water Resources Development Act (or WRDA) legislation every two years and early signals suggest we can expect this again in 2024.

WRDA is how Congress approves water resources projects of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Once approved, project supporters can seek federal funding to implement approved projects.  Most activities included in this legislation are formally vetted by the Corps for engineering, economic and environmental soundness, though recent WRDAs have also included additional work that is requested by Members of Congress.  Added work must meet certain requirements for disclosure, public support, etc. Flood control, hurricane protection, navigation and environmental restoration are the agency’s main mission areas; however, other water-related objectives may be considered.

The next WRDA will likely include new water projects and studies considered by the Corps as well as policies for more efficient project implementation, changing climatic conditions, water security, drought relief and support to disadvantaged communities. Congressional committees are already laying the groundwork by considering requests from Members and conducting oversight hearings.  Even though the process is already underway, States, communities and organizations should contact their congressional delegation and their local Corps of Engineers office to discuss their requests.     

Mike Strachn

Senior Advisor

Before joining Dawson in 2003, Mike was Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also served as Chief, Legislative Affairs Branch and Deputy Chief, Programs Division (Civil Works) for the Headquarters, Army Corps of Engineers, and in several positions in the Vicksburg District.


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