Institute for Water Resources

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Posted 6/17/2010

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ALEXANDRIA, VA – June 17, 2010. The new Responses to Climate Change Program website shares news and information about program activities as well as the potential impacts of climate change, interagency efforts, strategies for dealing with climate change and more. The Responses to Climate Change Program recognizes the importance of a non-stationary paradigm in which water resources managers must make decisions. The website will help convey the evolving body of practical knowledge developed through the program.

The Responses to Climate Change Program addresses the need to reduce potential vulnerabilities to the Nation’s water resources and infrastructure from climate change and variability. Its mission is to develop, implement and assess adjustments or changes in operations and decision environments to enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability of USACE projects, systems and programs to observed or expected changes in climate.

Current program activities include the development of guidance on sea-level change impacts to Corps projects. In July 2009, the Corps released EC 1165-2-211 addressing how to apply sea-level change scenarios to Civil Works planning. This EC will be updated and incorporated into an Engineering Manual. An interagency team is also developing an Engineering Technical Letter delineating sea-level change impacts, responses and adaptations for all Civil Works projects and missions affected by potential changes in sea level.

The Responses to Climate Change Program also supports Corps involvement in the Federal interagency Climate Change and Water Working Group (CCAWWG). CCAWWG held a workshop in January 2010 on stationarity and proposed alternatives, and a team from the RCC Program will use findings from this and other efforts to develop hydrological tools and methods capable of supporting climate change adaptation.

IWR leads the Responses to Climate Change Program while working with other Federal agencies and stakeholders. The projects that will be enacted under this program will focus on developing methods, policies and processes for implementing effective adaptation. Vulnerability assessments, demonstration projects and communication will also comprise important components of the program.

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