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Unique History of an International Partnership in Water Resources Management

Published Feb. 27, 2015
Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) presents Rudolf Simon Bekink, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States with a gift at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Feb. 24, 2015.  (U.S. Army photo by Eboni Everson-Myart/Released)

Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) presents Rudolf Simon Bekink, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States with a gift at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Feb. 24, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni Everson-Myart/Released)

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   As part of a combined effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Civil Works Directorate, USACE Office of History, and the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat, a joint history of water resources development by the USACE and Rijkswaterstaat has just been published.  In recognition of the book’s release, Ms Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, hosted a visit by Ambassador Rudolf Simon Bekink, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States.  During this 24 February visit, Ms Darcy presented a copy of the history, Two Centuries of Experience in Water Resources Management, to Ambassador Bekink that included inscriptions by Ms Darcy and the Director General of the Rijkswaterstaat, Mr Jan-Hendrik Dronkers.  The Ambassador’s visit included a tour of the Pentagon and the Pentagon 911 Memorial for him and members of his staff.

This remarkable historical perspective was produced as one activity under a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Rijkswaterstaat and USACE.  The book was publicly released in celebration of 10-years of productive and successful collaboration under the MoA at the annual MoA Steering Committee meeting held in November 2014 in Delft, Netherlands.  The book describes a fascinating and somewhat parallel history of these two premier water resources organizations over the past 200-years.  Of special note, this is the first book to recount the history of the Corps’s Civil Works program from its inception.

Production was supported by members of USACE’s Institute for Water Resources (IWR) and the USACE Office of History.  "The comprehensive sweep of the book and its efficient, informative writing mark this joint history as a significant document", said Bob Pietrowsky, IWR Director.

Pietrowsky continued, "but even more impressive is the book's ability to concisely highlight the striking similarities and the important contrasts between the evolution of the practice of water resources engineering by the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program - which stamps this joint history as a "must read" for anyone seeking a greater understanding of the crucial role played by water resources development in the history of the Netherlands and/or the United States."

Print copies are available through IWR with digital copies available for download from http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Portals/70/docs/iwrreports/Two_Centuries.pdf.

Learn More

For more information, visit IWR

USACE Civil Works

Dutch Rijkswaterstaat