WATER®, a MOARC publication and a registered trademark, is the newsletter of the Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC).  WATER® provides timely updates on matters of importance to the MOARC membership and stakeholders.

Dec 2019 Newsletter  

Previous issues of WATER®, the MOARC Newsletter:



MOARC Waterdrops supplement the MOARC published newsletter – WATER®, a registered trademark to provide timely updates on matters of importance to the MOARC membership.


  • 28 May 2018 11:18 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    Navigation is one of the eight authorized purposes of the Missouri River that mandates the Corps of Engineers (Corps) to manage the navigation channel between Sioux City, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945 calls for a 9-foot deep and minimum 300-foot wide channel.  Today, the focus of the Corps’ navigation mission is to provide safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation system for movement of commerce, national security needs and recreation. In order to meet this mission, the Corps focuses on repairs to river structures from damage such as ice, debris, scouring and high water velocity.

    While several sections of the Kansas City District play a role in the navigation mission on the Missouri River, the Missouri River Area Office and River Engineering Section ensure the primary needs of the navigation stakeholders are met.  The Missouri River Area Office, located in Napoleon, Missouri, performs operation and maintenance functions or oversees contracts for small river construction projects. A survey crew inspects the channel depth during navigation flow support season and responds to requests or concerns regarding depth or passability.  The River Engineering Section, located in Kansas City, is responsible for inspecting and identifying structures which may require repairs, modification, or development of a new structure. During winter months, the River Engineering Section conducts low water inspections to identify what maintenance actions may need to be addressed along the river and place them on a list to prioritize and schedule for repair.

    To better help in maintaining the bank and channel to protect lands and provide opportunities of navigation, the Corps has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to modernize the 1994 Missouri River Hydrographic Survey books. The Corps has added and modified many river structures since the 1994 data; the updates currently show the full inventory and can help us report project conditions better than before. GIS provides information on the structure type, elevation, length and more.  As such the Corps has developed newer Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project maps, complete with GIS layers. This new mapping standard will help improve with efficiency of inspections and reports in the future.

    To better communicate with navigation stakeholders, the Missouri River Area Office distributes daily boat reports via email when traffic is on the river. Information is also shared frequently on the Missouri River Navigation Facebook page. Additionally, the Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division hosts an annual navigation meeting to bring stakeholders and federal agencies together from across the basin to discuss Missouri River navigation, transport of materials, and the outlook for the upcoming season.  With the available storage expected in mainstem reservoirs, the Corps expects full flow navigation support during the 2018 season.

    You can learn more about the Corps of Engineers navigation mission online at:



    Article modified and reprinted with permission of the Kansas City District, US Army Corps of Engineers; author Trisha Dorsey, Public Affairs Office

  • 24 May 2018 11:15 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 continues to work its way through Congress, and MOARC and its partners have been actively working with both the Senate and House committees on legislative language to address water resource issues and opportunities. 

    The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) introduced bipartisan water resources legislation on 8 May to address the nation’s water resource needs.  The legislation, entitled “America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018”, is intended to support the nation's economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, deepening nationally significant ports, and maintaining the navigability of inland waterways across the country. The legislation will also repair aging drinking water, wastewater and irrigation systems. 

    Within the proposed WRDA bill ARE projects and language changes advocated by MOARC!  

    • Significantly, the proposed language for combining previous authorizations of the Kansas City’s Levees into a single authorization to provide for more efficient budgeting and that the project not be subject to a new start decision were included.  
    • The Senate EPW also included the authorization requested for a study on the function and reliability of the Lower Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation project.  The future study would address current effectiveness and future needs within the lower Missouri River and determine additional opportunities for navigation, flood risk, and bank stabilization within the region.  
    • Additionally, the legislation would push the Corps of Engineers to fund the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) at authorized limits, raise the authorized limit under each authority, and the total project cost limit under each authority from $10 million to $15 million.  The change in CAP limits and the intent of Congress to see the program funded at greater levels reflects a greater opportunity for local communities, states and other entities to participate in water resource projects. 

    This shows that MOARC efforts in coordinating with the Corps, stakeholders and Congressional offices, as well as advocacy partnerships, such as the MOARC and KCIC Congressional visits, are producing valued impact to our membership throughout our region.

    The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) is currently finalizing the House’s proposed WRDA legislation.  The T&I Committee has been communication with MOARC regarding legislative language on several projects and future opportunities MOARC and KCIC have advocated.  WRDA will continue to move formally through each congressional branch through the summer and a conference committee will be established to finalize a single bill for House and Senate approval.  That legislation could then become WRDA 2018 and be enacted upon the President’s signature.

  • 14 May 2018 11:14 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    Public meetings on the Corps of Engineers Annual Operating Plan (AOP) for the Missouri River have been completed during the month of April.  The AOP for 2017-2018 was developed by the Corps in November 2017 for the operating year of 2018. The Corps scheduled public meetings to present the plan for operating the river for the eight authorized purposes and take public comments on the plan.  Public meetings scheduled between 17 and 19 April kicked off in the Kansas City area on 17 April at Smithville Lake.  Additional meetings were held in Omaha, NE; Pierre, SD; Bismarck, ND; and Fort Peck, MT through 19 April.  The Corps provided presentations on the current status of reservoir storage within the six mainstem reservoirs on the Missouri River, the forecast of runoff and precipitation, and the expected or forecasted impacts on the eight authorized purposes.  The Corps reported that reservoir storage was at 59.1 million acre-feet (MAF) which is within the lower portion of the flood control and multipurpose pool on 16 April with available storage to accept expected runoff from both the plains and mountain snowmelt and expected rainfall precipitation.   Plains and mountain snowpack are reported above average and has created concern regarding runoff.  The Corps reported that with releases from reservoir storage along with storage available within the reservoirs snowpack runoff is forecasted to be managed through reservoir operations.  Downstream releases will increase downstream service levels to support navigation with an increase of navigation support by at least 10 days, water supply intakes, irrigation, fish and wildlife requirements on upper reservoirs, and increase opportunities for hydropower production through 2018.  The public was invited to make comments or ask questions regarding the Operating Plan and to review the AOP.  Several MOARC representatives attended the AOP meeting in Smithville and posed questions to the Corps’ Water Management leadership.  The public can review the 2017-2018 AOP at http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/finalAOP2017-2018.pdf 

  • 02 May 2018 11:11 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 4, 2018, announced the availability of funding that could provide as much as $5.5 billion in loans, which could leverage over $11 billion in water infrastructure projects through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.  Prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest (LOI) by July 6, 2018.  The WIFIA program received $63 million in funding in the 2018 budget bill, signed into law in March 2018. This more than doubles the program’s funding from 2017 where 12 projects were selected from across the country supporting $5 billion in water infrastructure. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-07/documents/fy17-wifia-selectionoverviewfactsheetv2.pdf  Leveraging private capital and other funding sources, these projects will create more than 170,000 jobs.

    The program highlights the importance of protecting public health including reducing exposure to lead and other contaminants in drinking water systems and updating the nation’s aging infrastructure. The Notice of Funding Availability can be accessed at: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/how-apply-wifia-assistance-0#notice

    Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. WIFIA credit assistance can be used for a wide range of projects, including:

       Drinking water treatment and distribution projects;

       Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects;

       Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities;

       Desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling project; and

    •   Drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects.

  • 28 Apr 2018 11:10 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    Congress and the US Army Corps of Engineers have opened the opportunity for the public (non-federal interests) to propose new water resource projects or modifications to authorized water resource projects.  Section 7001 of Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) 2014 requires that the Secretary of the Army submit to the Congress a report annually that includes feasibility studies submitted by non-federal interests and proposed modifications to an authorized water resources project. This annual report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, prepared by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), becomes the basis for projects to be authorized through future Water Resources Development Acts (WRDAs). 

    A Federal Register Notice (Federal Register/Vol. 83, No. 77/Friday, April 20, 2018) has been posted starting the 120-day open period for non-Federal interests to submit proposals for future water resource study and project authorities for consideration by Congress.  The deadline for proposals by non-federal interests is 20 August 2018.  Proposed projects must meet specific criteria laid out in the Federal Register for consideration.  Projects submitted through the Corps are reviewed for the criteria prior submittal in the annual report.  The Corps of Engineers provides a Section 7001 website as a comprehensive reference non-federal interests.  It provides the proposal link, history and purpose of Section 7001, FAQs, published reports, presentations, and contact information.  The link is: http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Project-Planning/WRRDA-7001-Proposals/


    Public information meeting July 24, 2018 (1pm CST)

    Proposals must be submitted online by August 20, 2018

    Annual report submitted to Congress by February 1, 2019

    MOARC will work with the Kansas City District Corps of Engineers to ensure non-federal interests such as state and local governments, regional industrial organizations, and Missouri 

  • 26 Apr 2018 11:04 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    Missouri River System Status and Flow Forecast:

    The 2018 runoff forecast in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 33.0 million-acre feet (MAF), 130 percent of normal according to the US Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Water Management Division.  Based on the current plains and mountain snowpack, runoff into the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs is expected to be above average from March through July.  As of March 1, the Corps reported the mountain snowpack was 139-140 percent of average in the reaches above Fort Peck and from Fort Peck to Garrison. Normally the mountain snowpack peaks in mid-April.  Plains snowpack is currently heaviest in central and eastern Montana.  All 2017 stored flood waters were evacuated from the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system (System) as of January 15, when the total volume stored in the System reached 56.1 MAF; the bottom of the Flood Control & Multipurpose pool.  System storage is currently 59.1 MAF, occupying 3.0 MAF of the 16.3 MAF flood control zone.  System flood storage is reported to be currently available to capture runoff from the plains snowpack, spring rainfall and runoff from the mountain snowmelt.   


    Releases from Gavins Point Dam have been adjusted from winter flows to provide flow for support for Missouri River navigation.  Flow support for navigation will be at full service levels for the first half of the 2018 season.  Flow support is generally sufficient to provide a 9-feet-deep by 300-feet-wide channel to support navigation.  Flow support for the second half of the Corps supported navigation season, as well as the navigation season length, will be based on the actual July 1 System storage; however, with storage anticipated the navigation support season is expected to be extended at least 10 days in 2018.  The Corps supported navigation season opening dates are as follows:

        ▪       Sioux City, IA: March 23

        ▪       Omaha, NE: March 25

        ▪       Nebraska City, NE: March 26

        ▪       Kansas City, MO: March 28

        ▪       Mouth near St. Louis, MO: April 1

  • 16 Apr 2018 10:34 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    The US Army Corps of Engineers recently completed a Record of Decision for commercial dredging on the Kansas River. Five applicants have received permit proposals to extract sand and gravel from the river by hydraulic dredging. The Corps of Engineers regulates dredging under the authority of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The permits authorize commercial dredging of up to 1.9 million total tons of aggregate from the river annually over the next five years. Special conditions minimizing and/or mitigating project-related impacts to the Kansas River are proposed as part of the proposed permits. If accepted, commercial dredging permits for the Kansas River will be issued to the following:

    ·         Kaw Valley Companies, Inc.;

    ·         Holliday Sand and Gravel Company;

    ·         Masters Dredging in the Kansas City-Lawrence;

    ·         Kansas area, Builders Choice Aggregates; and

    ·         LBB, LLC near Topeka, Kansas.

    Commercial dredging for sand and other aggregate materials from the Kansas River has taken place over the past 100 years. Since 1990 total extraction permit limits have ranged from a high of 4.7 million tons, to more recently, a 2.2-million-ton annual limit; however, actual dredging has ranged between 88% and 23% of the annual limit. Total extraction under the proposed permits, as in the past, is dependent upon aggregate supply, demand, and other market driven factors, as well as, existing river conditions. During the five-year permitting period, the river bed will be monitored every two years with the data to be used in the reevaluation of the issuance of any future commercial dredging permits.  

  • 13 Apr 2018 10:46 AM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    With the 2018 budget bill signed by President Trump on 23 March, funding for water resource projects across the nation move from under the restrictions of the Continuing Resolution to a full budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.  The government has been operating on a series of continuing resolutions since October, and this agreement removes the uncertainty that arises from those short-term measures.  The 2018 budget provided the US Army Corps of Engineers civil works program funding of $6.8 billion, an increase of $789 million from the FY17 levels. 

    The Corps of Engineers budget includes $2.089 billion for Construction of water resource projects, $3.630 billion in continued Operation and Maintenance, $123 million for studies under the Investigations account, and $200 million for the Regulatory program.  The budget provides opportunities to address funds needed to complete construction of on-going projects, continued operations and maintenance of reservoirs and the navigation system, and funding to complete on-going studies as well as start new water resource projects.  Budget language included directive language for the Corps of Engineers to initiate six new water resource studies in 2018.  A detailed work plan must be provided to the Congress within 60 days of enactment; 23 May 2018.  The Corps is currently working on the 2018 Work Plan to address projects to be funded. The budget represents opportunities for funding of Kansas and Missouri projects to improve flood risk management within our region.  MOARC presented the regional needs during the recent Spring DC Visit (5-8 March) to the congressional delegations, appropriations committee and the Corps of Engineers laying out priority needs for design funds supporting the final flood protection elements of the Kansas Citys Levees, construction funding for the completion of Swope Park Industrial Area, and Pre-construction, Engineering, and Design (PED) funds for Manhattan Levees and Upper Turkey Creek.  Additionally, the budget provides an opportunity to include a New Start project within our region from the six directed by Congress.  Potential new water resource projects within Kansas and Missouri presented by MOARC included the following:

    *    Kansas River Basin Study

    *    Lower Missouri River Basin Study

    *    Little Blue River Watershed Study

    *   Osage River Basin Study

    The bill also continues the prohibition on the implementation of the final Principles and Requirements, directing the Corps to continue to use the 1983 Principles and Guidelines.


  • 03 Apr 2018 5:35 PM | Glenda Johnson (Administrator)

    Partnerships to invest in flood protection within the Kansas City metropolitan area continue to move forward!   The final phase of the flood control project to further reduce flood risk in the Blue River Basin – Dodson Industrial District has been initiated.  The kickoff of the final phase of the construction for the long awaited levee completion was celebrated by KCMO City officials, other dignitaries, and Congressman Cleaver on 2 March.  The groundbreaking initiates the final phase of a five phase project and will result in a 500-year level of protection for the Dodson Industrial District.  The industrial park located along the Blue River in the south–central portion of Kansas City, Missouri, has been subjected to repeatedly flooding from the Blue River resulting in damage to private businesses and public utilities, and risk to public safety. 

    The final phase of the project is construction of nearly a mile of earthen levee that will connect existing upstream and downstream features into an integrated levee-flood wall system to provide reliable flood protection for the companies, service providers, and people within the Industrial District.  Important to the metropolitan area, the Dodson Industrial District represents a property investment of nearly $380,000,000, made up of a public works facility and 30 commercial/light industrial firms, employing 1,500 people.  Construction was initiated in 2003 with the final phase currently underway being completed in 2020.  The final phase of the project is being funded by revenue from the GO KC  bonds totaling more than $7.5 million plus $17 million from the federal government.  The funding participation and completion of the project represents thecontinued success of partnerships with area industrial and river associations, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Congressional offices, and the US Army Corps of Engineers in addressing long term flood control needs for the Kansas City region. 

  • 24 Mar 2018 11:15 AM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

    Representatives from MOARC and KCIC conducted their spring congressional visit on 5-8 March to inform and educate the Missouri and Kansas congressional delegation on the successful completion of several flood risk management projects and those MOARC and KCIC are fighting to finish.  MOARC and KCIC provided a unique perspective with 16 representatives from the Kansas City metro city governments, regional businesses, industrial councils.  We were able to meet with 14 House and Senate congressional offices, the majority and minority authorization and appropriations committees, OMB, FEMA, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA-CW) and the Corps of Engineers over the four days of visits.

    Front row (l to r): Michelle Freed, Mike Lally, Tom Poer, Melissa Sieben, Lynda Hoffman
    Back row (l to r): Kyle Foote, Matt Bond, Pete Browne, Dave Combs, Jeff Fisher, Councilman Jermaine Reed, Tom Kimes
    Not pictured: Karin Jacoby, Jarrod Huntley, Shana Marchio, Jason Parsons

    The diversity of stakeholders within MOARC and KCIC supporting and advocating for improved flood protection to support continued economic development in the Kansas City region continues to impress the congressional delegation, appropriations committees, and the Corps of Engineers.  The visit emphasized stakeholder interest and participation in projects.  The on-going partnerships with the Corps of Engineers, congressional offices, and local sponsors of projects have successfully completed major portions of projects or secured funding to complete projects across the Missouri and Kanas region.  Projects completed or funded to completion include Turkey Creek Basin, Blue River Basin (Dotson Industrial District), St. Joseph Levees and Topeka Levees.  Projects needing design or construction funding to continue forward toward completion include Kansas Citys Levees, Swope Park Industrial Area, Manhattan Levees, and the Upper Turkey Creek flood control project.  MOARC followed up the visits by submitting appropriations requests to the congressional offices to complete design and construction of on-going flood protection projects and request language for New Start projects within Kansas and Missouri.

MOARC Association
PO Box 22647
Kansas City, MO 64113

(816) 977-1690

MOARC promotes the beneficial use of water and land related resources in the Missouri River Valley including the areas of
Agriculture, Environment, Flood Damage Reduction, Navigation, Recreation, Shipping and Ports, Power, Water Quality and Supply.

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