Sea Level Rise Planning Tool
More than 8 million people live in areas at risk of coastal flooding. Along the U.S. Atlantic Coast alone, almost 60 percent of the land that is within a meter of sea level is planned for further development, with inadequate information on the potential rates and amount of sea level rise.
Global sea level rise has been a persistent trend for decades. It is expected to continue beyond the end of this century, which will cause significant impacts in the United States. Scientists have very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meter) and no more than 6.6 feet (2.0 meters) by 2100. Many of the nation's assets related to military readiness, energy, commerce, and ecosystems that support resource-dependent economies are already located at or near the ocean, thus exposing them to risks associated with sea level rise.
Using the best available science and data, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and several Federal agencies through their partnership within the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) have jointly developed tools to help state and local officials, community planners, and infrastructure managers understand possible future flood risks from sea level rise and use that information in planning decisions. IWR’s Climate and Global Change Team has been participating in these efforts.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a Sea-Level Rise Calculator to assist in developing information to support its sea-level change policy, which supports the USACE overarching climate change adaptation policy. This tool has been modified to support the Sea Level Rise Planning Tool using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC 2013) scenarios to help people rapidly assess what the coming changes could look like.
Climate Change and Water Working Group
The Federal Climate Change and Water Working Group (CCAWWG) was established in 2008 by the Bureau of Reclamation, USACE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The working group's (fact sheet, pdf 175 KB) objectives include:
The working group is pursuing many collaborative efforts including:
The working group is focused on helping the water management community adapt practices as climate changes. The principal Federal water management agencies are the Bureau of Reclamation and USACE, with Bureau of Reclamation primarily being a water supply agency and the USACE primarily a flood control and waterway navigation agency. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the primary Federal science agency responsible for understanding and predicting short and long-term climate variations, while the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the primary Federal agency that engages in surface water, ground water and aquatic species sciences. Collectively, these four agencies span all aspects of the hydrologic cycle and are currently the four core Federal agencies of the working group.
Interagency Forum on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations
NASA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers co-host an informal forum on climate change impacts and adaptations. The forum is attended by numerous agencies. It provides a venue for presentations and discussions on issues common across agencies relating to the impacts of climate change on:
Relevant new publications and reports from participating agencies and from sources such as the U.S. Global Change Science Program Office, the Government Accountability Office, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Pew and Heinz Centers are regularly presented and discussed at this forum. Meetings are held periodically in the Washington D.C. area. Interested parties can join forum sessions in person or by telephone. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Federal Agencies
Many of the needs and capabilities associated with water management are common to other Federal resource management, regulatory or science agencies. We actively attempt to identify linkages and pursue collaboration in areas of common interest. For example, how climate change will influence the social and economic dynamics of water demand has been identified as an important knowledge gap. To address this gap area, working group agencies are pursuing a research collaboration that currently includes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), Economic Research Service (ERS), Agriculture Research Service (ARS); Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); Bureau of Indian Affairs; National Park Service; and National Science Foundation (NSF).
Comparison of 2014 Adaptation Plans
USACE has released a Comparison of 2014 Adaptation Plans report. This report compares the thirty-eight Adaptation Plans submitted to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2014, per the release of the President's Climate Action Plan in June 2013, and Executive Order (EO) 13653, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change, in November 2013, which brought with them new requirements for agencies to improve climate change preparedness and resilience. The comparison was undertaken to provide USACE staff with information about other agency climate preparedness and resilience actions to facilitate partnering and information sharing, identify actions taken by agencies with aligned missions and operations that could be useful to USACE, and support a gap analysis to guide future actions.
USACE works closely with regional, nongovernmental and quasi-governmental organizations in evaluating and responding to climate change. These include such organizations as The Nature Conservancy , the Water Utility Climate Alliance , the National Academy of Public Administration , the National Academy of Sciences , and the National Research Council .
State and Local Entities
State and local utilities, including agricultural water districts, user groups and stakeholder organizations are also significant members of the water community affected by climate change. Their perspectives are vitally important to creating effective and efficient research and technology development agendas; and their collaborative participation is being sought.
Federal Agency Sponsors
Bureau of Reclamation
revised 11 June 2015