||Panel on Peer Review
||National Academic Press
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The nation's water resources infrastructure features thousands of dams, an extensive levee system, and many harbors that can accommodate large ocean-going vessels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned, designed, and constructed much of this infrastructure, and now maintains it. Corps of Engineers feasibility studies for such projects are today generally more comprehensive and more complex than in the past, and they are often conducted in a politically charged environment. These studies may be subjected to the careful scrutiny of many interest groups, with some of these groups retaining highly qualified analysts to review the Corps' fundamental assumptions and analytical methods. The complexity of some Corps planning studies and the challenges to some of these studies—especially the Corps' Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway draft feasibility study in the late 1990s—by different interest groups led Congress to request the National Academies to provide advice on implementing improved review procedures for Corps water resources planning studies.