ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is increasingly considering potential climate change impacts when undertaking long-term planning, setting priorities and making decisions that affect resources, programs, policies and operations. USACE is undertaking its climate change preparedness and resilience planning and implementation in consultation with internal and external experts using the best available – and actionable – climate science and climate change information.
USACE has released the first four regional climate change and hydrology literature syntheses. The reports are part of a series of 21 regional climate syntheses prepared by USACE under the leadership of the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) Global and Climate Change team at the scale of 2-digit U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) across the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. These four Civil Works Technical Reports represent the following regions:
- Lower Mississippi River Region: HUC 08. The USACE New Orleans, Vicksburg, Little Rock, Memphis, and St. Louis districts each include territory within Water Resources Region 08.
- Arkansas, White and Red Rivers Region: HUC 11. The USACE Albuquerque, Ft. Worth, Little Rock, and Tulsa USACE districts each include territory within Water Resources Region 11.
- South Atlantic-Gulf Region: HUC 03. The USACE Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Mobile districts and a relatively small section of the Mississippi Valley Division are within the region.
- Missouri River Region: HUC 10. The USACE Omaha and Kansas City districts each include territory within Water Resources Region 10.
Each of these regional reports summarizes observed and projected climate and hydrological patterns cited in reputable peer-reviewed literature and authoritative national and regional reports, and characterizes climate threats to USACE business lines, (e.g., flood risk management). They also provide context and linkage to other agency resources for climate resilience planning, such as downscaled climate data for subregions and watershed vulnerability assessment tools.
This approach is consistent with the 2011 and 2014 policy statements on climate change adaptation by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the USACE Climate Change Adaptation Plans, and agency policy and guidance.
Kathleen D. White, PhD, PE, and Jeffrey R. Arnold, PhD, of IWR’s Global and Climate Change team are leading the effort. More information about these regional climate change and hydrology literature syntheses and other vulnerability assessments and reporting can be found on the Responses to Climate Change website.