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Building on existing science and knowledge, the Responses to Climate Change Program is developing methods, policies and processes for effective adaptation of our projects, systems and programs to climate change. We must also develop methods, policies and processes to assess the effectiveness of climate change adaptation. We anticipate that assessment will include an evaluation of how well alternative adaptation measures improve system flexibility to perform well over a wide range of future scenarios.

The program develops and conducts vulnerability stress-tests within the Civil Works (CW) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) portfolio of constructed and natural projects. This includes demonstrations of hydrologic frequency analysis under changing conditions and adaptation opportunities presented by more flexible water control and reservoir systems operations. Additional services provided by the program include:

  • Workshops and pilot studies on methods and policies to address climate change for water management and environmental restoration
  • Continued revision of planning and engineering guidance on sea level rise and coastal storms
  • Evaluation of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and the potential effects on USACE infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects
  • Building on the baseline carbon budget for USACE projects to guide subsequent policy and project O&M
  • Development of methods and policies to deal with hydrologic frequency analysis under changing conditions
  • Risk analysis for new unexpected conditions, such as flood events from glacial dam outbursts and coastal erosion in Alaska
  • Support for Corps regulators on dealing with climate change in permitting decisions
  • Development of regional climate change impact assessments for water resources planning, particularly as applied to the existing portfolio of USACE projects



revised 17 November 2011


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