USACE Galveston District and Southwestern Division

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Southwestern Division (SWD) Civil Works Strategic Plan

Five months

The Challenge

The Institute led a team with partners ILSI/Arcadis to aid the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District (SWG) in conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) and Risk Analysis. During the second phase of the project, the focus expanded to the Southwestern Division (SWD) and the development of a long-range Civil Works Strategic Plan (CWSP).

The Approach

For the SWOT and Risk Analysis, the Institute conducted a broad-reaching assessment and evaluation of SWG’s capacity and the drivers that shape the region’s needs for USACE support. Institute staff interviewed approximately 30 high-level district employees and reviewed planning studies, socioeconomic reports, infrastructure assessments, and other sources to provide background and context.

The project’s second phase expanded the planning effort to the development of a CWSP for USACE’s SWD and its Districts, which span watersheds across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Input on SWOT and Risk Analysis from across all four Districts was first taken from USACE personnel and then elicited from stakeholders to provide an external perspective. Desktop research on drivers of demand for USACE identified trends and uncertainties in factors such as extreme weather and regional commerce conditions, which were further compared and benchmarked against USACE perceptions.

The Institute then developed a framework for action that includes a comprehensive Vision, four cross-cutting Goals, and 25 strategic Objectives designed to provide high-level direction to inform decision making in the face of uncertainties in a changing physical and socioeconomic landscape. A series of scenarios provide a framework for dynamically planning for, and responding to, an uncertain future.