Procedures to Evaluate the Magnitudes and Effects of Total Water Levels at USACE Projects

Friday, 19 December 2014
Heidi Moritz, US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, Jacksonville, FL, United States and Kate White, US Army Corps of Engineers,, Institute for Water Resources, Washington, DC, United States
USACE is mainstreaming climate preparedness and resilience with a focus on priority areas; we engage in external collaboration to improve our understanding of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities so that we can develop new policy and guidance to support adaptation implementation based on the best available and actionable science. Beginning in 2009, the US Corps of Engineers has taken steps to provide guidance on evaluating and adapting to sea level change. Close collaboration with national and international experts is an essential component in our process of developing practical, nationally consistent, and cost-effective measures to reduce potential vulnerabilities resulting from global changes. The next stage of USACE evaluation is to provide guidance on procedures to evaluate the magnitudes and effects of total water levels at USACE projects. The guidance will outline project specific analysis and assessment of total water level with respect to four primary mission areas: flood damage risk reduction, navigation, coastal storm damage risk reduction, and ecosystems. Federal agency and international sources of information and approaches will be outlined and provided. The various components of total water levels as well as temporal, geomorphic and regional variability will be assessed. A range of analysis level and methods will be outlined ranging from basic water level descriptive statistics to more complex analysis of hydrodynamic processes. The end product will be field level  guidance that addresses wide ranges of project stability and performance and the relevant variability and uncertainty which may impact project cost and performance.