Position Open: JAWRA Editor-in-Chief

May 1, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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We here at AWRA are searching for a new editor-in-chief for JAWRA, our flagship journal. Current Editor-in-Chief Ken Lanfear has done an outstanding job and has the proverbial big shoes to fill.

Applications are due 31 July 2014 for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2015. The position carries an honorarium.

Download JAWRA-Search-Announcement

Go for it!

“Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theories; then you can borrow money from them.” – Mark Twain

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 19 – 25 April 2014

April 25, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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HGYeah, gotta love that ‘Honey Ginger’ (Hg) chicken at your local restaurant! What a kick!

Where is a chemist when you need her?

Sent around on Twitter by the Journal of the American Chemical Society - naturally!

Click here to visit the weekly water summary.

Enjoy!

“The problem in California is not that we don’t have enough reservoirs. It’s that we don’t have enough water in them. It wouldn’t help to build any more (reservoirs.)” - Dr. John Holdren, White House science adviser (thanks to Lloyd Carter)

CWNI had the honor of making a presentation on this topic for the Canadian Water Network, a remarkable organization headed by friend and colleague Bernadette Conant. 

Here is my Power Point:

Download Campana_CWN_23_April_2014

The PPT does not contain the substance of the presentation, nor the Q&A. For the actual presentation,view the video (about an hour).

The presentation was geared to students and young professionals (SYPs). I don’t think there was anyone over 40 viewing the event (we had polling capabilities).

I want to thank the CWN folks – especially the outgoing SYP guru, Scott Jasechko, who invited me. Scott is finishing his PhD at the University of New Mexico and will be joining the faculty of the University of Calgary’s Department of Geography in January 2015. Yichuan Wang, a graduate student in the University of Alberta’s Department of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Scienceswho will be assuming Scott’s position, did a faultless job today. Kudos also to the CWN Webmaster,Lyle Schneiderwho ensured all ran smoothly.

Thanks to all the participants. I had a blast!

“It does not matter how slowly you move as long as you do not buffer.” - Confucius

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 12 – 18 April 2014

April 18, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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The Portland (OR) Water Bureau will drain one of its reservoirs of 38M gallons (almost 117 acre-feet) of water because a man was videotaped urinating in it. Hardly cause for concern, but it’s for PR.

City Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees the PWB, said in The Oregonian:

“Politics had no impact on our decision in this case. But this is Mt. Tabor and the caution-do-not-drink-water-fish-crap-in-it-sign-posterreservoirs, and everything that happens up there is evaluated through a political prism. I know people are going to second guess. That’s their right.”

Imagine how many animals urinate, defecate and die in the same reservoir? You don’t want to know. But they are not caught on tape.

The water isn’t ‘wasted’ – it’ll ultimately go back into the river. But it is ‘lost’ to the PWB and is a needless expense.

Click here for the weekly water news summary.

Enjoy!

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

A few days ago I posted my review of Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disasterby Christine A. Klein, the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida and Sandra B. Zellmerthe Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska. Below is a piece they have written about an issue on the Missouri River. Here is a PDF: Download Missouri_River_Takings_Blog_Final  

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Landowners flooded by the Missouri River in 2011 have sued the Corps of Engineers for a Fifth Amendment “taking” under the U.S. Constitution.  Their attorneys hope to rake in over $250 million in claims for their clients and at least $1 million in expenses and fees for themselves.  They’re likely to be disappointed.

Lawsuits seeking recovery of flood damages from the federal government almost always fail.  First, the United States is immune from suit for negligent construction or handling of flood control structures under the sovereign immunity shield of the 1928 Flood Control Act, as plaintiffs whose lives were destroyed when levees failed during Hurricane Katrina quickly discovered.  My co-author Christine Klein and I have called for a repeal of this provision in our article and book on Unnatural Disasters, but it hasn’t happened.

In hopes of avoiding the immunity problem, the Missouri River plaintiffs have brought a claim under the Fifth Amendment, which is not barred by the Flood Control Act.  However, this claim is just as unlikely to stick, for good reason.  As we document in our previous work, courts find that floodplain management constitutes a regulatory taking in only the rarest of cases, whether the impact to private property occurs through land use restrictions on construction or through flood control structures like dams and levees.  This is because the impact is neither a “permanent physical occupation” of the property by the government, nor is it an excessive regulation that deprives property of “all economically beneficial use” or has otherwise gone “too far” in adversely affecting reasonable investment-backed expectations of the floodplain owners (in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court). It is simply not reasonable to settle in the floodplain and expect that the property will never flood.

These plaintiffs are attempting to bring their claims within the purview of a 2012 Supreme Court case, Arkansas FGC v. U.S, where a landowner (the State Fish & Game Commission) prevailed on its claim that the Corps had physically taken a flowage easement over its land.  The case raised a unique set of facts and the decision is a remarkably narrow one, and it is completely inapposite to what happened on the Missouri River.  Here’s why.

In Arkansas, the Corps opted to depart from its Water Control Plan for the dam in question by releasing water over longer periods each year during a seven-year period, not because of any physical imperative (e.g., unusual amounts of rain or snow) but because farmers urged it to do so to keep their croplands dry for longer periods during harvests.  The deviation caused a dramatic increase in flooding in a wildlife management area owned by the State, causing widespread and permanent damage to its trees.  The flooding was significant enough, for long enough periods, to change the character of the area and to substantially interfere with the State’s ability to use its land.  The Corps had effectively taken title to the land without going through the appropriate processes for exercising the government’s power of eminent domain.

In stark contrast to the 2011 Missouri River flood, the Corps’ intentional flooding of Arkansas’s land was the direct and proximate cause of the foreseeable destruction of the State’s property.  The Corps deviated from its Arkansas Plan in order to benefit the farmers, when it knew (or should have known) that the deviation would inevitably destroy the State’s land.  The Corps created winners and losers, and the Supreme Court forced it to pay the loser.

On the Missouri, the 2011 flood made losers out of just about everyone.  The Corps’ flood control structures were taxed to their limits by unprecedented amounts of snowmelt and rain over a long period of time in the spring and summer of 2011.  In April, Rocky Mountain snowpack was 140% of normal; later in the summer, rainfall was three to six times normal in the upper Missouri River Basin. At Sioux City, Iowa (the demarcation between the upper and lower river), runoff measured 13.8 million acre feet (MAF), smashing the old 1952 record of 13.2 MAF.  The third wettest month ever documented on the Missouri River happened to be May 2011 (10.5 MAF) and the fifth wettest was July 2011 (10 MAF).  See National Weather Service, The Historic Missouri River Flood of 2011; Senate Report 112-075 - Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2012.  That water had to go somewhere, and once the dams were filled to capacity, it went downstream and into the floodplain, as rivers naturally do (especially the Missouri, which is widely known for its flood-prone tendencies).

The plaintiffs argue that the Corps has abandoned its flood control mission in favor of other priorities on the Missouri River.  Specifically, they claim that the Corps kept the reservoirs full in the spring to benefit recreation and endangered species, and that fuller reservoirs means less storage for flood waters. The factual record doesn’t back them up, and the law is more nuanced than they allege.  In truth, Congress directed the Corps to build the dams and manage the system for seven purposes in addition to flood control: navigation; hydropower; water quality; water supply; irrigation; recreation; and fish and wildlife.  Flood control and navigation may be toward the top of the list, but they are far from the only concerns that drive river management.  More to the point, none of the other purposes were prioritized at the expense of flood control in 2011.  The Missouri River system was operated in accordance with the Master River Manual in response to abnormal snowmelt and rainfall that just kept coming for months on end.  The operations were dictated by conditions, not by other priorities.  Sometimes, the river simply reclaims its floodplain, despite human efforts to hold it back.

The tired refrain that the government elevated the concerns of fish over people is a red herring. The real problem is that people wanted to settle in the floodplain, so the federal government undertook flood control, which prompted more people to move into harm’s way. It’s ironic that the landowners who cry “foul” today have received a bounty of flood control-related benefits from the government through the years.  No doubt the flood damage to their properties in 2011 would have been worse if the federal government hadn’t built dams and other structures on the Missouri River.  Consider the 1993 flood, which set the record for the highest water level in Kansas City, but resulted in much lower discharges (flooding) than pre-dam floods in the 1800s and early to mid-1900s.

Meanwhile, individuals and communities who chose to reside in the floodplain demanded additional protection through the construction of levees, dikes, and revetments on the river and its tributaries, along with subsidized flood and crop insurance.  Once they put themselves in harm’s way (aided and abetted by government), it’s only natural for sympathetic officials to provide federally funded disaster relief when the inevitable happens.  These are policy choices that the government and floodplain communities have made throughout the many years of floodplain occupation, and we can argue the pros and cons of these choices until we’re out of breath without ever reaching a consensus.  Don’t get us wrong—no one wants to see human suffering in the wake of a flood. But adding a constitutional takings claim to the list of government payouts demanded by property owners is a wholly unwarranted sort of “double take” from the government (and the taxpayers) (see Unnatural Disasters Chapter 10).  Instead, we should be talking about how to make people safer, how to make buildings more flood resilient, and about cases where it is more prudent to retreat from the floodplain and out of harm’s way.

CPR Scholars Sandra Zellmer, Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska, and Christine Klein, Professor of Law at the University of Florida, are the authors of Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster (NYU 2014).

Book Review: ‘Mississippi River Tragedies’

April 15, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Cutting to the chase: Read the book! Well-written and researched with a strong message: no more floodless floodplains – let rivers flood!

Disclosure notice: I received a free, unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher. I know the first author, Christine A. Klein, from our time on the NRC Bay-Delta Committee and I consider her a friend. She’s the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida. I know Sandra B. Zellmer by reputation but have never met her. She is the Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska. And you’ll once again have to tolerate my semi-rambling, stream-of-consciousness ‘review’ style.

So what’s my connection to the Mississippi River? Other than being a 24/7 WaterWonk, the best I can do is this: at the end of summer 1964, my mother presented me with a bottle (a corked RC Cola bottle, no less) of Mississippi River water, taken from the river at Memphis, TN. My parents and my late younger sister Ann had embarked on a westward auto trip – NY to CA. I was working on Cape Cod and could not go. They made it only as far as Memphis. Seems Ann, on the verge of teenagerhood, and my father were not seeing eye-to-eye so the trip was aborted. I was quite Bookglad to get my water. I have no idea where it is today.

Fast forward 50 (!!) years and I am renewing my love for the mighty Mississippi, thanks to two ‘Mississippi River basin girls’ who have penned a remarkable book, Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster. No, it is not a 21st century version of Life on the Mississippialthough I might have to rethink that perception. Life on the ‘Father of Waters’ is quite different from that depicted by Mark Twain.

KleinBoth authors grew up in the Mississippi River Basin: Klein (left) in the St. Louis, MO, area and Zellmer on a farm in the Sioux City, IA, area. They know the river. Klein actually spent time as a river guide on the Arkansas River while in law school. Their knowledge shines right fromZellmer_0910 the start: the book begins with the authors’ delightful recollections of growing up in the basin. “The Headwaters’ is by Zellmer and ‘Downstream in St. Louis’ is Klein’s work. Nice touch!

I classify this book in Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert genre – a Cadillac Heartland, if you will (Cynthia Barnett’s Mirage was Cadillac Swampland). Major differences: It’s not about the Colorado River, but the Mississippi River. The focus is not water supply, but flood management/control. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is the agency most scrutinized.

It’s instructive to note the book’s full title:Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster. Wait a minute – isn’t the book primarily about flooding? So what’s the deal with ‘unnatural disaster’? Everyone knows floods are natural disasters, right? Well, maybe not. Sarcasm alert: Klein and Zellmer want to set us on the path to truth, justice, and the American (read: USACE) way. Do they ever!

First things first. The book is extremely well-written. What would you expect from law school professors? You don’t need to be a WaterWonk or a lawyer to understand what’s going on. I found myself very disappointed when the text ended at page 203. I wanted more. There is more – 54 pages of notes, bibliography, and an index. Again – think ‘law school professors’.

We quickly learn of our ambivalence towards nature. We glorify it, name things after it, but we are also quick to point the finger at it when nature ‘misbehaves’. Think of the terms ‘natural disaster’ or ‘act of Gods’. How often do we think that perhaps disasters are unnatural. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Mississippi River Basin, which drains 40% of the Lower 48. And when you think Mississippi River Basin, the agency that comes to mind is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

So here are the things that struck me:

1) The disastrous effects of the ‘levees only’ approach to flood control. Who would have imagined this? Levees = good, right? Despite critics of this approach (see quote at bottom) the USACE would not be diverted. Nor would the local and state agencies who built levees with or without the Corps’ acquiescence. Then the great flood of 1927 intervened. That was a game-changer, in many ways. The Flood Control Act (FCA) of 1928 was passed. Floodways and other engineered facilities were added to the levee system. The Act also protected the USACE from responsibility ‘for any damage for or by floods or flood waters at any place’. Safe, right?

2) The racism. Nothing like using prostrate or supine African-American men (slaves, then freemen) as levees or upright as human dikes. Yep, just stack ‘em up right on top there. Or maybe we’ll just conscript them at gunpoint and force them to sandbag. Evacuations, or lack thereof. Native Americans being forced from their land to make room for reservoirs, especially in the Missouri River Basin. Environmental (in)justice. And let’s not forget Katrina.

3) The legal evolution. Floods were deemed to be natural disasters; no one could be held responsible. Tough luck! Well, that started to change in the early 20th century. Some flood damage was an unnatural disaster, for which someone or some organization could be held liable.

4) The FCA of 1928 gave the USACE relief from responsibility for floods. But what if a USACE facility, not related to flood control or management, caused/exacerbated a flood and caused damage. Could the Corps be held liable? Think of MRGO, The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a navigation structure, and Hurricane Katrina.

5) Flood insurance and moral hazards. Building and rebuilding in floodplains. Risk takers and risky business. Taxpayer subsidies. The Galloway Report after the 1993 floods. Coastal wetlands. MRGO.

6) More legal stuff – eminent domain and its bastard child, regulatory takings. I really liked this chapter – ‘Law 101′ for people like me. Made sense.

7) Great ‘Conclusion’ – How the law can hurt, how it can help. Excellent recommendations.

Klein and Zellmer correctly state that we have spent more than one hundred years trying and failing to hold back the water from the people, when we should have been holding back the people from the water. We have employed a dumb concept: a floodless floodplain. Let’s give rivers room to flood. What a novel concept!

A river disconnected form its floodplain. Wow. The stream ecologists and ecogydrologists have been telling us that for years. Now we have two more articulate voices to heed.

An excellent book. Whether you are a Missippi River groupie or not, you need to read this book. Its influence and relevance extend beyond the Mississippi. I am going to use it in my US Water Management class.

To Ms. Klein and Ms. Zellmer: thank you!

“The problem of the Mississippi is a fascinating one, but more a problem of your national psychology than of your river. You treat the Mississippi as if it were a river apart, differing utterly from all other streams. It is nothing of the sort.” - Sir William Willcocks, British engineering expert, 1914, interview in the New York Times, 1914 (see page 57 of the text)

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 5 – 11 April 2014

April 11, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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This photo, from Justin Quinn, is titled, ‘Uncle Sam’s Bad Habit’. I like it. Uncle Sams Bad Habit-X2

It’s almost as funny as someone from The Nature Conservancy using a bottled water promotional video to advance the idea that groundwater is inaccessible. The following words of wisdom accompanied the Tweet:

checkout this cool site that helps show why @nature_org doesn’t count groundwater as easily accessible…

What the person failed to recognize is that the groundwater flows at the surface as a spring, so the water isn’t actually pumped from a depth of 8000 meters. If the water flows at the surface, it’s hard to use it as an 1972example of an ‘inaccessible’ resource.

Spent a few days in Rapid City, SD. I recalled the horrible 1972 floodthere; 238 were killed.

Click here for the weekly water news summary.

“…be it miles & miles underground, or simply soil moisture, groundwater for the most part is not easily accessible.” - spokesperson, The Nature Conservancy

6a00d8341bf80a53ef01a3fce63d08970b-500wiMore good stuff! Another great report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS): EPA and the Army Corps’ Proposed Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”. Claudia Copeland is the author.

Download CRS_Report_EPA-USACE_Waters_of_US

Summary

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed rule would revise regulations that have been in place for more than 25 years. Revisions are proposed in light of Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the regulatory scope of the CWA more narrowly than previously, but created uncertainty about the precise effect of the Court?’s decisions.

In April 2011, EPA and the Corps proposed guidance on policies for determining CWA jurisdiction to replace guidance previously issued in 2003 and 2008; all were intended to lessen confusion over the Court?’s rulings. The 2011 proposed guidance was extremely controversial, with some groups contending that it represented a massive federal overreach beyond the agencies?’ statutory authority. Most environmental advocacy groups welcomed the proposed guidance, although some would have preferred a stronger document. The 2014 proposed rule would replace the existing 2003 and 2008 guidance, which remains in effect because the 2011 proposed guidance was not finalized.

According to the agencies, the proposed rule would revise the existing regulatory definition of ?“waters of the United States?” consistent with legal rulings?—especially the Supreme Court cases?—and science concerning the interconnectedness of tributaries, wetlands, and other waters to downstream waters and effects of these connections on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. Waters that are ?“jurisdictional?” are subject to the multiple regulatory requirements of the CWA: standards, discharge limitations, permits, and enforcement. Non-jurisdictional waters, in contrast, do not have the federal legal protection of those requirements.

This report describes the March 25 proposed rule and includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines ?“waters of the United States?” with that in the proposal. The proposed rule is particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court?’s ruling. The proposal does not modify some categories of waters that currently are jurisdictional by rule (traditional navigable waters, interstate waters and wetlands, the territorial seas, and impoundments). Changes proposed in the proposed rule would increase the asserted geographic scope of CWA jurisdiction, in part as a result of the agencies?’ expressly declaring some types of waters categorically jurisdictional (such as all waters adjacent to a jurisdictional water), and also by application of new definitions, which give larger regulatory context to some types of waters, such as tributaries. The proposal does not identify specific waters?—particular streams or ponds?—that would be jurisdictional as a result of the rule.

Beyond the categories of waters that would be categorically jurisdictional under the proposed rule is a category sometimes referred to as ?“other waters.?” The regulatory term ?“other waters?” applies to wetlands and non-wetland waters such as prairie potholes that are not considered traditionally navigable or meet other of the proposed rule?’s jurisdictional definitions. Much of the controversy since the Supreme Court rulings has focused on the degree to which ?“other waters?” are jurisdictional. According to the agencies?’ analyses, 17% of these ?“other waters?” would be determined to be jurisdictional under changes in the proposal. The proposed rule also lists waters and features that would not be jurisdictional, such as prior converted cropland and certain ditches.

It makes no change to and does not affect existing statutory and regulatory permit exclusions, such as exemptions for normal farming and ranching activities.

The agencies believe that the proposed rule does not exceed the CWA?’s coverage or protect any new types of waters that have not been protected historically. That is, while it would enlarge jurisdiction beyond that under the 2003 and 2008 EPA-Corps guidance, which the agencies believe was narrower than is justified by science and the law, they believe that it would not enlarge jurisdiction beyond what is consistent with the Supreme Court?’s narrow reading of jurisdiction. Others may disagree. Overall, the agencies estimate that approximately 3% of U.S. waters will additionally be subject to CWA jurisdiction as a result of the proposed rule (including additional ?“other waters?”), compared with current field practice. EPA and the Corps estimate that costs of the proposed rule, resulting from additional permit application expenses, for example, range from $162 million to $279 million annually. Benefits from the rule, including the value of ecosystem services provided by waters and wetlands protected as a result of CWA requirements, such as flood protection, are estimated to range from $318 million to $514 million per year. They acknowledge uncertainties and limitations in the estimate of costs and benefits.

Enjoy!

As usual, a tip of my hat to Jan Schoonmaker for sending this my way.

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” - Richard Feynman (thanks to Faruck Morcos)

Coping With Floods ~ What’s in a Name

April 4, 2014 | Posted by cmccrehin
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President’s Column

by C. Mark Dunning, AWRA President

March 2014 Water Resources IMPACTFloods continue to be the most destructive and costly natural disasters in the United States (U.S.). Coping with these disasters is a vast and complex topic that a short article can’t do justice to. Rather, I want to focus on a single point: the way that our response to flooding has been framed (i.e., our coping strategies, provides a window into the evolution of our thinking about flooding as well as the basic assumptions we employ about appropriate ways of addressing flooding challenges).

Historic Strategies
Possibly the most common coping strategy for dealing with flooding has been to seek to control floods. For example, after several devastating floods in the early years of the 20th Century, Congress authorized flood control works to be planned and constructed (1917, 1928, 1936).

To me, the operative word in these authorizations was control, as if through engineering works the devastation of floods could be tamed. In fact, control of floods has been partially achieved, and the record of the large levees, floodwalls, and upstream reservoirs that have been constructed is noteworthy, returning, so the Corps of Engineers tells us, more than seven dollars in flood damage prevention benefits for every dollar invested. Many of the reservoir projects authorized in flood control legislation had multiple purposes, such as hydropower, recreation and water supply, that provided valuable social and economic benefits to regions.

But, even with flood control structures in place, flood damages on a national scale continued to rise. Development was occurring in more flood-prone areas that did not have flood protection, and even in protected areas increased upstream development changed downstream hydrographs such that runoff from  storms that once would have been contained resulted in flooding. With this reality, flood control as a term regarding the coping strategy being employed probably seemed overreaching, and a new term began to be widely employed: ­ flood damage reduction. This more accurate term described what was happening with the application of structural flood prevention measures within a specified range of protection (e.g., 100-year, Standard Project Flood, etc.).

Current Strategies
As these changes in thinking about coping with floods were occurring, a new concept was also being promoted: ­ floodplain management. This new term was based on the simple observation: floodplains flood. This coping strategy focuses on keeping damageable property and infrastructure out of floodplains as much as possible through floodplain regulation, relocation of flood-prone structures, and raising structures out of the floodplain.

Today, two additional concepts have joined the array of coping strategies: flood risk management and integrated water resources management.

Flood Risk Management
As Don Riley noted in last month’s IMPACT (pdf) (Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 15-16), a risk management coping strategy for floods involves focusing on public safety through promoting an informed and educated public that is aware of flood risks and shares in the responsibility for managing risks through many different means, and is aware that some level of residual risk from flooding always remains.

A significant institutional innovation in supporting sound floodplain management and flood risk management has been the creation of the Silver Jackets, inter-agency partnerships of federal and state agencies. Their mission is to facilitate the planning and implementation of measures to reduce risks associated with flooding by leveraging resources, enhancing collaboration across agencies, and facilitating a life-cycle approach to flood risk reduction strategies.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
Integrated water resources management (IWRM), meanwhile, embraces concepts of balanced, sustainable development and achieving multiple objectives at watershed scales. In this coping strategy, flooding problems are addressed as part of a multi-objective resource management strategy developed through a collaborative process involving multiple stakeholders and multiple agencies.

For example such a coping strategy might approach flooding within the context of a multi-objective plan that includes:

  • structural flood protection such as setback levees and floodwalls providing a specified level of protection;
  • various nonstructural measures such as flood-proofing and enhanced emergency management and evacuation procedures;
  • creation of green space, natural river corridors, and recreational areas and trails to enhance environ- mental quality and quality of life;
  • integration of transportation planning and infrastructure revitalization to work with flood protection measures and support environmental quality improvements; and
  • creation of inter-agency partnerships and extensive stakeholder participation to create the vision and plan, and to carry it out.

So, coping strategies for responding to flooding challenges have evolved over the years from primarily single-purpose, structurally-based approaches seeking to control floods, to the current more integrated resource management strategies that emphasize managing risk and achieving multiple purposes in a sustainable fashion.

AWRA and IWRM
AWRA is actively supporting the application of IWRM as a primary coping strategy for addressing flood problems, through the following:

AWRA members also receive webinars free and get substantial discounts on attendance at AWRA conferences. If you are not a member, ­ join! It’s easy:  go to the AWRA website  and follow the instructions.

C. Mark Dunning is AWRA President and a senior planner and project manager for CDM Smith, Fairfax, VA. Email: president@awra.org

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 29 March – 4 April 2014

April 4, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Before (top) and after (below) LiDAR photos of the Oso, WA, landslide; red dots are buildings. Thanks to Anne Jefferson for sending these. Originals here. What made the mountain move? Visit here.

Click here for the weekly water news summary.

Oso-lidar-before

Oso-lidar-after

“University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” - Henry Kissinger

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