"Water Resources Principles and Guidelines. - No funds are provided for the line item proposed for Water Resources Principles and Guidelines, as this is considered a new start. No funds provided to the Corps shall be used to develop or implement rules or guidance if an update or replacement to the document dated March 10, 1983, and entitled "Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies" is finalized during the fiscal year period covered by the Energy and Water Development Act for 2012. The Corps shall continue to use the Water Resources Principles and Guidelines in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act during that same period."
In the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA) Congress directed the Secretary of the Army to revise the P&G that had guided water resources project planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority since the early 1980s. The Obama Administration sought to update and expand the scope of the P&G (i.e., to cover all federal agencies that undertake water resource projects, not just the four agencies currently subject to the P&G). As part of that effort, the CEQ released its "Proposed National Objectives, Principles and Standards for Water and Related Resources Implementation Studies" in December, 2009 (those Principles and Standards have more recently become known as the "Principles and Requirements"). The "Principles" portion of the Principles and Requirements are described in the P&G as the "overarching concepts the Federal government seeks to promote through Federal investments in water resources now and into the foreseeable future," and include:
- Healthy and Resilient Ecosystems
- Sustainable Economic Development
- Public Safety
- Environmental Justice
- Watershed Approach
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Tennessee Valley Authority
The CEQ states that "the updated Principles and Requirements include a number of important changes that modernize the current approach to water resources development. They allow communities more flexibility to pursue local priorities; take a more comprehensive approach to water projects that maximizes economic, environmental, and recreational benefits; promote more transparent and informed decision-making across the Federal Government; and ensure responsible taxpayer investment through smart front-end planning so that projects proceed more quickly, stay on budget, and perform better."