New Publication Addresses Socially Vulnerable Populations in Water Resource Planning
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. Exposure to flooding and other environmental hazards often fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable people in our communities. Those who lack access to education, adequate housing, economic resources, health care, and social networks have the fewest resources to prepare for a flood and often live in the highest-risk locations. Children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities are also more vulnerable.
“Social effects, in a water resources context, refer to how the constituents of life that influence personal and group definitions of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness, are affected by some water resources condition or proposed intervention, ” said Susan Durden, a senior economist at the U.S. Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources (IWR).
Since social vulnerability is one of those key social effects, the USACE has developed a new primer entitled Identification and Engagement of Socially Vulnerable Populations to address vulnerable populations in evaluating potential projects, studies, or regulatory decisions. The primer is intended to help Corps personnel and its partners understand the importance of identifying and engaging those individuals and groups who are more vulnerable to floods and other environmental hazards. It will be useful to all USACE programs and can also serve other government agency programs.