Good morning. I am Brigadier General Tom Kula, the Commander of the Southwestern Division of the US Army Corp of Engineers in Dallas, Texas.This morning I have the pleasure of talking to you once again about the missions of the Corps of Engineers, and our role in in addressing the future challenges to meeting the regions water resources needs.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its Southwestern Division regional team of professionals are dedicated to providing engineering excellence with integrity and credibility to our Nation, our Armed Forces and the communities we serve.We are a Major Subordinate Command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, headquartered in Dallas, and have served the region since 1937, overseeing hundreds of water resources development and military design and construction projects. Since that early beginning, the Division continues to grow in expertise and missions, seeking innovative solutions for future challenges.The Division's regional team, which includes four District offices in Little Rock, Ark., Tulsa, Okla., and Galveston and Fort Worth, Texas, provides diverse engineering and construction expertise and other services in all or part of seven states. The Division's area of responsibility covers some 2.3 million acres of public land and water, with an annual program totaling in excess of $2 billion.
Our CW projects are diverse …Navigation – 2 major waterways which are among the most cost-efficient in the Nation. SWL and SWT jointly operate the 442-mile MKARNS … and SWG maintains more than 400 miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Brownsville to the TX-LA line.Hydropower – SWD ranks 2nd in the Corps for total hydropower production. We operate and maintain 18 hydropower plants [1 in MO, 4 In TX, 6 in AR, 7 in OK] There are 8 non-federal hydropower plants located at our facilities in OK, AR, TX, which are operated by local power authorities at no cost to the government.Our 90 lakes provide quality recreational opportunities. In fact, SWD is the second Division in the number of visitors and revenue collected in the past year … with 20% of the Corps’ total recreation projects located within our area. Our lakes also provide 8.4 million acre-feet of water supply storage for municipal, industrial or agricultural use.Our flood damage reduction projects are both large and small ... Preventing some $85 billion in cumulative damages. The Dallas Floodway Extension project you see here provides flood damage reduction and also includes environmental restoration, recreation and other allied benefits within the Trinity River Basin.Regulatory: More than 5000 permit decisions for work in waters and wetlands annually allow environmentally sustainable projects while protecting water quality and requiring mitigation for unavoidable impacts. More than 2400 acres of mitigation in FY 11. Only .2% of all appealable actions have been appealed since 1999.
The Southwestern Division leadership team is headed up by Brigadier General Thomas W. Kula, two Senior Executive Service civilian positions, and our deputy commander. New to the SWD leadership team is Bob Slockbower and Pete Perez.The team includes our Districts Commanders in our four Districts, Fort Worth, Galveston, Little Rock, and Tulsa. Altogether, this team has decades of experience and service to our Nation, both civilian and active duty.
In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America's Infrastructure an overall GPA of D. In 2001, it was a D+. TODAY,China spends 7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on its infrastructure. India spends 5 percent. The United States spends less than 2 percent. Our focus has always been on Roads, Railways, and Runways – the 3 R’s. If our nation is to remain competitive in the world’s economy, we have to begin think about improving and maintaining the 4th R – Rivers.
As one of the premier Engineering Agencies in the Federal government, we are an active player in building and maintaining our nation’s infrastructure. We know what the needs are. But this is the reality of the situation. We are coming off huge program – BRAC, New Orleans, ARRA (Stimulus) to 2001 funding levels. After this large workload, the Corps CW and Military funding levels are back to 2001 levels. The thing we have to remember is our buying power is not the same.
The Corps has always been a Nation Builder – at home and abroad. We have been responsible for construction of roads, navigation canals and waterways, flood protection, public works projects and national monuments. We have also had a significant impact on other nation’s infrastructure – Panama Canal, Greece and Turkey, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. The first half of the 20th century produced some of the greatest infrastructure our Nation has ever seen – flood protection projects, roads and highways, locks and dams, bridges, monuments and public buildings. The majority of U.S infrastructure that exists today was built between the 1920s and 1980s, and has already reached or exceeded its planned design life.Even though there is a need across the nation to implement new water resources project, you may ask what is the Corps’ role? The recent trend is a change in the direction our nation views the Corps’ role. From one of a Nation Builder to potentially an O&M only organization.
USACE has a construction backlog* of $60 billion, while receiving roughly $2 billion a year in construction funding.The CW backlog is the “balance to complete” amount for all authorized projects we are currently working on, and all Planning, Engineering and Design (PED) projects.$1 B additional backlog for inactive and deferred projects.Backlog projects by Business LineEnvironmental Infrastructure 5%Environmental 20%Navigation - Ports 20%Navigation - Inland Waterway 5%Hydropower 0%Flood Damage Reduction 35%Flood through Shore Protection 10%
We are implementing these changes in a time of uncertainty, but we cannot wait. A great NASCAR driver is one who is able to excel in the turns as any good driver can go fast on the straight a ways. Our focus is to move from being known as an organization focused on building water resources projects to becoming known more as the Nation’s water resources solutioneer.
Over a year timeframe how many swings would we reduce water, energy, savings in reducing number of hours of lock open? Recreation adjustments?
Another one of our key initiatives is the Texas coast. In 2008, we dodged the bullet when Hurricane Ike went east of Houston. The impacts were devastating to the people of southeast Texas and to the region’s economy. However, if it had come ashore 30 miles to the west, the impacts to the nation’s economy would have been felt even today with the loss of the petrochemical complexes along the Houston and Texas City Channels. The entire Texas coast is at significant risk of damages to public safety, property and ecological resources from hurricanes, sea level rise and other coastal hazards. The areais comprised of 18 counties that are home to 26% of the state’s population (6 million), contains 4 of the Nation’s top 10 ports, produces two-thirds of the Nation’s petrochemicals; and yet 64% of the Texas coast is eroding at an average rate of 5.9 feet/year with some areas losing 30 feet/yearOur plan, working with the TX GLO, is develop integrated plans for flood damage reduction, storm damage protection, and ecosystem restoration; reducing risk and damages to public safety, property and environmental resources from storms and erosion. A comprehensive, programmatic protection and restoration plan would provide a basis for informed decision-making by the Federal government and non-Federal sponsors to reduce these risks.
The Southwestern Division continues to stress the importance of the Corps’ water supply mission. In Washington, leadership only gets involved when there is an issue (water for Atlanta, hydro-fracking on the Missouri). With more than 75% of the Corps’s total water supply in this region, we cannot sit back and let policy be developed for other regions of the nation. We have to be the driver behind this policy. My commitment to each of you in this room is we will continue to express the need for the Corps’ leadership to take into account this region’s needs.
Working with the TWCA and TWDB, we have documented successes. While water supply is the smallest business line in our budget, we have achieved an awareness of Value the program brings to ensuring the economic viability of not just this region but the nation. Internally to the Corps, we have restructured out budget process to establish a performance based budgeting process. This streamlined process has identified our region as the number one priority for funding. We are working with the TWDB and TWCA to ensure you are involved in discussions on future infrastructure initiatives. TWDB and TWCA representatives have met with Corps’ Washington leadership on these initiatives on a number of occasions. We expect this will be a key topic for the coming 2013 Texas Water Day. We are looking how we can provide higher level of service to you our partners. As a test case we have established a Liaison Position with the Kansas Water Office. In the first year, this position has helped KWO work through a number of issues that involved multiple Federal agencies on permit actions. In fact, we have documented actual savings of more than $100k in the first year as the Liaison was able to stop a duplicative mapping effort. We know the number one engagement between the Corps and the Texas Water Plan is our 404 permitting process. As always, we are looking to streamline our 404 permit process.
One the examples I would like to highlight is our new 404 Permit process.This is the one I know you all feel accurately depicts the way it works today. A myriad of actions, coordinated with more Federal and State agencies than you ever knew existing. With at the end, a 404 permit miraculously appearing.
In times of trouble, it always looks worse before the sunrise. To be successful in meeting the nation’s water infrastructure needs requires partnership – at every level of government, private industry, NGOs. We need you to help tell the story that demonstrates the value of these projects. Historically we have tried to fund too many individual projects and weren’t able to make the best use of our limited federal dollars. Too often, this resulted in projects being delayed and being conducted in a start-stop manner. It has been an inefficient model of project delivery and it wastes time and money. We need to re-examine and re-shape the civil works process, moving towards watershed and systems-based decision-making.It’s going to mean making some tough choices and it will require collaboration. We will all need to work together to decide what our most significant funding needs are and how to invest limited dollars. The Corps needs to be in synch with the NWC and other stakeholder groups to prioritize actions that are in the national interest and find alternative methods of funding.
I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about our plan for the future. I hope each of you actively participate in today’s discussions as we hear from a diverse group of individuals and agencies all focused on ensuring the future viability of this region and our nation.
There is a universal agreement, the Corps study process is broken. We can no longer expect to be able to conduct studies that take 10-15 years and cost $40M. We have initiated our Planning Modernization Initiative to: Improve project delivery through our 3-3-3 initiative. We are now looking at completing studies within 3 years at a cost of no more than $3M. To accomplish this, we have implemented new processes that embraces the principles of risk management in our planning process. We can no longer continue to study an issue over an over again looking for the perfect answer. Today, we must make decisions based on less information, but with an understanding of the risk and uncertainty to ensure we are making the right informed decision.This is a new paradigm that we are testing through pilot studies. There are two within SWD – Jordan Creek, and Westside Creeks here in San Antonio. Both studies were initiated in 2010, and will be completed in the summer of 2013.
No longer can the Corps program be seen as a list of projects. We are transforming our budget development process that moves us from the eaches, and focuses on alignment with the national goals and objectives. We must re-think how we determine and finance water resource investments for the 21st century. A systems or watershed/system based approach will ensure proposed investment options are integrated into a whole that preserves or enhances performance and sustainability at the system level. A systems approach requires consideration of the investment needs and priorities of all the business programs within the watershed/system. It focuses on the funding of the highest performing, highest priority projects to achieve the priorities for the watershed/system. Our ultimate goal is to fund projects and studies at a efficient level so we can complete what we have start in a way that ensures a sustainable and reliable infrastructure that meets the needs of the watershed.
Our next big initiative is how do we maintain our existing infrastructure. Most was constructed with a project life of 50 years. The average age of the projects in the SWD is 48 years.We know our current process for operating and maintaining our infrastructure – operate until it breaks- is not sustainable. We are now implementing asset management principles to provide leadership an understanding of the condition of our infrastructure. We will then be able to make risk informed decisions for funding the highest value work. This risk informed process will allow us to then be able to communicate to you the condition of our infrastructure.
Our Infrastructure Strategy has moved us towards, what we call, the Smart O&M Infrastructure Strategy. This strategy will optimize limited dollars through an informed decision-making process that links desired levels of service with ongoing maintenance investments to significantly improve planning, budgeting, execution, performance and communication (stewardship) of our federal assets. To achieve success in SWD, it is critical that a more robust asset management approach be pursued in prioritizing our O&M funding across all business lines and re-balance those business lines to reflect these priorities during budget development. This requires the need to identify the appropriate level of service required to accomplish our critical mission areas and to identify and adjust, as appropriate, the activities performed by all functional and technical elements in order to achieve the desired recommended service level. Our test of the Maintenance Modernization Initiative is on the Arkansas River. Our goal is to extend the life of our 18 locks and dams that provide efficient movement of commerce along the waterway. It consists of adjusting our level of service moving from 24/7 operations on 5 locks to 20/7 operations. The savings in operations costs are being used to perform preventive maintenance. We are now looking to see if we can expand this initiative to all 18 locks in a way that does not impact service to users on the waterway, while creating additional funds for major maintenance activities.
Southwestern Division Pacesetters - Transforming the Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program
Transforming the Corps ofEngineers’ Civil Works Program Texas Water Conservation Association Fall 2012 ConferenceBrigadier General Thomas W. KulaSouthwestern DivisionU.S. Army Corps of Engineers26 October 2012US Army Corps of EngineersBUILDING STRONG®
Southwestern Division Footprint 2 BUILDING STRONG®
SWD Civil Works Mission Areas Little Rock Districts MV Ted Cook positions the Crane Barge Mike Hendricks at Dam 2 during the Navigation (Inland) flood of 2011 2 major waterways (GIWW and MKARNS) Water Supply •8.4 million acre-feet of Hydroelectric Power water storage •18 power plants in 6 states •Water control contracts = produce 6.7 billion kw hours water for 1.8 million •87% of regional capacity, households second in the Corps Sardis Dam, Oklahoma Bull Shoals Powerhouse, Arkansa s RecreationFlood Damage Reduction •20 percent of the Corps total •74 flood damage recreation projects located reduction within the regional boundary lakes/reservoirs •83 million visitors at 90 operating •33.22M acre-feet projects located in five states of flood storage Moonshine Beach, •760 miles of local flood Table Rock Lake, Mo. protection projects •$85 B in cumulative flood damage prevention Dallas Floodway Navigation (Ports and Channels) •4 of the Nation’s “Top Ten” ports Regulatory (work in waters & wetlands) •32 channels (15 deep draft, 17 shallow draft) •Over 5000 permit decisions annually •More than 500 M tons of commerce annually •Protection of waters & wetlands Regulators examine soils on a Houston Ship Channel wetland delineation field visit. 3 BUILDING STRONG®
Southwestern Division Leadership TeamBrigadier General Thomas W. Kula SWD Commander Colonel Richard J. Muraski Mr. Robert Slockbower, SES Mr. Pete Perez SWD Deputy Commander Director of Programs Acting Director, Regional Business Colonel Charles H. Klinge Colonel Christopher Sallese Colonel Glen A. Masset Colonel Michael TeagueFort Worth District Commander Galveston District Commander Little Rock District Commander Tulsa District Commander 4 BUILDING STRONG®
Our Nation’s Infrastructure GPA -- D Roads Railways Runways Rivers BUILDING STRONG ®
Shaping Strategic DirectionCivil Works Strategic Plan• Integrated Water Resource Management• Systems-Based Approach• Risk-Informed Decision Making & Communication• Collaboration & Partnering• Asset Management/ Recapitalization• State-of-the Art Technology 9 BUILDING STRONG®
Organizational Change Drivers for change . . . Project/ Programs ► Meet Customer Commitments ► DecliningWorkload ► Fiscal Constraints ► CW and Mil Missions Transformation ► O&M Focus- Moving more from “O” to “M” Methods of Delivery ► Regionally resourced ► More Efficient / Effective Ways of Doing our Business 10 BUILDING STRONG®
Win in the Turns • Win in the turns - Invest in our infrastructure • New starts - Think future water resources direction • Use systems-based and watershed approach • Find ways to finance the Nations infrastructure • Become the Nation’s water resource solutioneer 11 BUILDING STRONG®
Major CW Transformation Initiatives Infrastructure Strategy Planning Budget Development 12 BUILDING STRONG®
Short Term Wins . . .Successes: Reset on water supply ► Funding to levels of performance Levels of Service on MKARNS ► Optimize maintenance for increased reliability SWL Recreation Adjustment Restructuring of Contracting (SWF/SWG) Successful CWRB for Freeport Established New Business Line Mil Missions (facility assessment) Tri-State Water Partnerships 13 BUILDING STRONG®
(#) SWG Port Rankings vs. Nation LNG Facilities GIWW Constructed (3) Pending Authorization (2) Sabine-Neches Waterway (4) GIWW Houston Ship Channel (2) -Barbour’s Terminal Channel -Bayport Ship Channel Freeport Texas City Ship Channel (10) Harbor (27) Galveston Harbor (41) Matagorda Ship Channel (54) Corpus Christi Ship Channel (6) -La Quinta Channel Home to 28 Ports Handling over 500 million tons of commerceGIWW Eight (8) Deep Draft Channels 275 Miles of Deep Draft Channels Total of 749 Miles of Shallow Draft Channels GIWW runs 440 miles connecting the state’s 12-deep water ports, 16 shallow draft ports Dredging Activities from 30 to 40 million Brazos Island Harbor cubic yards of material annually - BIH (78) BUILDING STRONG® -Port Isabel Ch. & Turn. Basin
Coastal Texas Ecosystem Protection & Restorationo Texas coast at significant risk of damages topublic safety, property, and ecological resourcesfrom storms, sea level rise and other coastalhazards. • 18 counties home to 26% of state’s population • 4 of Nation’s top 10 ports located in Texas • Two-thirds of nation’s petrochemicals produced along the Texas coast • 64% of Texas coast is eroding at average rate of 5.9 feet/year with some areas losing 30 feet/yearo Study integrates: programmatic plans for flood damage reduction; storm damageprotection; ecosystem restoration; risk reduction measures for damages to publicsafety, property and environmental resources from storms and erosiono Plan would provide: Basis for informed decision-making by the Federalgovernment and non-Federal sponsors 15 BUILDING STRONG®
Water Supply in the Southwestern Division The Corps is the single largest water supplier in the region: ► SWD reservoir projects currently contain 8.4 million acre-feet of storage for municipal, industrial and agricultural use. • 36% of the potable water for Texas • 35% of the potable water for Oklahoma • 20% of the potable water for Kansas“Water, not oil, is the lifeblood of Texas...” – James Michener in Texas: A Novel 16 BUILDING STRONG®
Water Supply Program Successes Raised Water Supply to a higher level of attention within the Corps and ASA(CW) Water Supply budget based on performance to streamline the funding process Involve the States in establishing the Corps future strategies for infrastructure investment Established a test program in Kansas for a Liaison Position for coordination between the Corps and Kansas Water Office...Streamlining the 404 permitting process… 17 BUILDING STRONG®
TWDB / Corps Permitting Flowchart • Goal: educate water resource providers on permitting process and identify ways to reduce the time needed for review/approval of water resource development projects • Developed a multi-agency permit process flow chart – currently being reviewed by state and Federal Resource Agencies • Next steps: Post the flow chart on TWDB hosted web site, develop and execute interagency training workshops 19 BUILDING STRONG®
What Can You Do?• Tell the Story•Help us transform the Civil Works process.•Continue to partner with stakeholders, industry andbeneficiaries of the system•Facilitate a Watershed approach•Help the Nation prioritize efforts and projects. BUILDING STRONG®
BUILDING STRONG® Questions? Connect With Us! Facebook: www.facebook.com/swdusace Twitter: www.twitter.com/usace_swd Online: www.swd.usace.army.mil 21 BUILDING STRONG®
Planning Modernization Top Four Performance Priorities• Improve planning project delivery (investigations and CG) and instill accountability at all levels• Develop a sustainable national & regional planning operational and organization model• Improve planner knowledge and experience (build the bench)• Modernize planning guidance and processes 22 BUILDING STRONG®
Budget Transformation• Establish a goal-oriented, program based approach to budgeting• Vertical alignment and integration of programs/BLs to National goals and objectives• Institutionalize our CW Strategic Direction; move IWRM into our budget development framework• Develop a budget framework that identifies relevant, important and smart decisions• Improve justification & defense of budget allocationsEnd state: Sustainable and reliable water resources infrastructure 23 BUILDING STRONG®
Methods of Delivery• Relook our methods of delivery to be more efficient, cost-effective & timely• Link technical capabilities to desired levels of service• Integrate a Human Capital Plan to maintain core competencies• Improve operation and management of our water infrastructure-reduce enterprise risk• Focus areas-Centers of Expertise (CXs): • Dam safety, inland navigation design and deep draft navigation economics 24 BUILDING STRONG®
Infrastructure Strategy• Infrastructure Comprehensive Strategy: An integrated approach to manage our assets, the life cycle of the system and seeking alternative financing: Asset Management: Comprehensive approach to asset management Life cycle system: Ensure future systems’ viability through risk assessment and management, funding prioritization and sound decision making Alternative financing: Provide a safe and reliable infrastructure by looking into alternative financing options CW decision making: Develop a decision framework and process that enables a cross-cutting systems approach, supported by user friendly decision tools (WISDM, Money Ball, etc.) Strategic communication: A robust strategy with key messages to increase national attention to water infrastructure, its value to the nation, critical needs and sustainability of our systemsEnd state: A reliable and sustainable infrastructure FUTURE!! 25 BUILDING STRONG®
Maintenance Modernization Initiative • Optimize limited O&M dollars through an informed decision- making process • Link desired levels of service with ongoing service activities and maintenance investments • Significantly improve planning, budgeting, executio “Service Levels of Service (Performance) n, performance and Life communication (stewardship) Zone” of our federal assets. •Buy down backlog maintenance and reduce risk “Compliance •Remain Zone” reliable, relevant, and resilient •Design & modernize SWD for Levels of Maintenance the future! (Costs) 26 BUILDING STRONG®