Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Reauthorization in 2016

WRDA deals with various aspects of water resources: environmental, structural, navigational, flood protection, hydrology, etc. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administers the bulk of the Act’s requirements. Directives regarding resilient construction techniques/materials were included in the last reauthorization in 2014.

In this year’s consideration, there is potential for extending the definition of resilient construction to other agencies, to strengthen material neutral references, and replacing language on property with structures. We want to urge Congress to conduct oversight of Corps projects as to how resilient construction is being implemented. Also, a study by the National Academy of Sciences on the benefit of resilient construction needs funds appropriated to carry out the study and report.

Significance

Definition of resilient construction is important to promote the use of reinforced concrete in government-funded programs as well as to assist in the commercial and residential markets. Resiliency has gained more attention and has currency in legislative objectives. Building structures with reinforced concrete is recognized as a resilient technology/material.

Protection of Buy America provisions in WRDA is also needed.