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Representative Napolitano Meets with IWR Leadership

Published July 11, 2011
Representative Napolitano and IWR Managers Meet at IWR

ALEXANDRIA, VA – July 11, 2011. Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-California) visited the Corps Institute for Water Resources (IWR) and met with IWR’s senior mangers on June 21, 2011 to learn more about the Institute’s mission and activities. Topics under discussion included IWR’s technical support of USACE’s international activities in Afghanistan and Mexico, water resources management, water quality, water supply, data management, and the Congresswoman’s perspectives on water resources issues in California.

IWR managers discussed with Rep. Napolitano the need for holistic, innovative and systematic approaches to water management, as evidenced by IWR’s ongoing capacity building efforts internationally in locations such as Afghanistan and Mexico. These approaches are applicable both worldwide and locally. The Congresswoman shared that many in California are interested in innovative options to capture water, particularly in dry areas, that do not necessarily only involve structural solutions such as reservoirs and dams. These include water reuse and groundwater recharge, which are also relevant to flood plain management and reconnection.

Rep. Napolitano discussed the need for increased outreach and education about existing water management tools to a broader range of stakeholders. She expressed an interest in learning more about IWR models, including the software tools developed by the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC). She was informed that IWR's and HEC’s software tools and manuals are readily available for download. Once open to Corps employees only, the Corps training courses related to HEC’s software tools are now available to non-Corps audiences, including academic, state, tribal and local water managers, and stakeholders.

Discussions also focused on contemporary societal needs for greater cooperation, information sharing and technical collaboration among the various water resources agencies, stakeholders and partners. The Congresswoman was intrigued by tools such as IWR’s Shared Vision Planning approach, which can be instrumental in such efforts. Shared Vision Planning is a collaborative approach to formulating water management solutions that combines traditional water resources planning, structured public participation and collaborative computer modeling.

The Congresswoman indicated that she was very pleased to learn more about USACE IWR’s missions and methods and offered to help facilitate exposing other Congressional members to the Institute’s products and services, which support the Corps Civil Works Program.

Rep. Napolitano was accompanied by members of her staff and Mr. David L. Wegner, Senior Democratic Staff, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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