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Posted 4/14/2011

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Photo credit: Rijkswaterstaat Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

ALEXANDRIA, VA—April 14, 2011. IWR staff recently took part in a series of meetings with senior officials from the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) in Washington, DC. On 21 March Nate Snorteland, Director of the IWR Risk Management Center (RMC), and Alex Roos, RWS detailee to the RMC, met with senior Dutch leaders including Jan Hendrik Dronkers, Director General of RWS, Luitzen Bijlsma, Managing Director of the Water Management Center, and Harry Baaijen, Managing Director of Deltares. They discussed the status of the bilateral partnership on levee safety. The meeting also addressed the current staff exchange and the technical and policy differences on levee safety between the U.S. and the Netherlands.

On 22 March IWR staff participated in a meeting of the USACE-RWS Memorandum of Agreement Executive Steering Committee. The status of ongoing partnership activities was discussed, along with other opportunities for future partnering. Priorities for next year were addressed, including the staff exchange of RMC Subject Matter Expert Jason Needham to RWS. The Executive Steering Committee also explored the willingness of both parties to provide joint technical assistance in support of an ex-post analysis of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

IWR personnel were privileged to attend a reception and dinner at the residence of the Netherlands Ambassador to the U.S., which was also attended by the Dutch delegation from RWS and senior officials from other Federal agencies. The Dutch delegation then headed to California to meet with Federal and state officials working in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Paul Robershotte of the Corps South Pacific Division served as senior POC for the California activities.

More about the USACE-RWS Partnership

USACE and RWS signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2004 to facilitate the sharing of information and expertise that will benefit the civil works capabilities of both organizations. The partnership supports collaborative efforts to enhance the integrated water resources management policies of both countries. USACE and RWS share a strong interest in addressing aging infrastructure, asset management, adaptation to climate change and recapitalization.

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