"Water resources management often involves trade-offs among user groups, environmental interests, and local, regional, and national interests. Water resources development is particularly controversial because of budgetary constraints, conflicting policy objectives, environmental impacts, and demands for local control. Hurricane Katrina brought to the forefront long-simmering policy disputes involving local control, federal financing, environmental and social tradeoffs, and multi-level accountability and responsibility for water infrastructure projects, such as levees. Construction, improvement, and management of other federal water resource projects (e.g., locks, dams, and diversion facilities) face similar challenges. The 110th Congress faces numerous issues and trade-offs as it considers water resource development, technology, water supply, and climate change legislation. These issues are likely to arise as Congress considers authorizations and appropriations for Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers projects (e.g., Water Resources Development Act of 2007, H.R. 1495), and agency policy and program changes (e.g., water reuse, federal project operations, and oversight of ecosystem restoration programs such as CALFED and Everglades). Oversight issues related to Hurricane Katrina and the federal role in hurricane and flood protection, and levee construction and management, also are ongoing."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20569
National Agricultural Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org