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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary February 22, 2021 Webinar–Sharon Sartor–PAS

  1. Call to Order—Chair Jennifer Hoggatt-Missouri DNR was called away for an emergency and Sue Lowry chaired the meeting in Jennifer’s absence, calling to order at 10:03 a.m. Central.  
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Sue Lowry, ICWP Executive Director filling in for Jennifer as Chair; Mabel Jones; Carrie Wiese; Beverly Hayes; Brian Dunnigan; Christopher Estes; John Boyer; Kristina Peacock-Jones; Klaus Albertin; Brian Atkins; Pooja Kanwar; Mark Matlock; Tim Feather; Ed Swaim; Louis Murray; Jennifer Schellpeper; Susan Layton; Matt Unruh; Harold Brady; Owen Mills Aislinn McLaughlin; Julie Cunningham. 
  • Planning Assistance to States presentation—Sharon Sartor, USACE Planning Assistance to States Program Manager—Sharon’s slides can be downloaded HERE

Sharon began with an overview of the Planning Assistance to States program; Section 22 of WRDA 1974 created PAS and multiple amendments  have been added since then. PAS includes  technical assistance as well as comprehensive planning.  First slide quoted language from WRDA on types of work to be done.  Partners can now include non-profits.  Two categories:  Technical Assistance and Comprehensive Water Resources Planning—state or watershed scale and can include flood plain planning.  

In-kind services not permitted for Technical Assistance as concept is for USACE to be bring their expertise to the project.  Cost shares for comprehensive planning are 50% federal/50% non-federal, but non-federal contributions in excess of cost share allowed.  PAS does not include site specific structural design or construction specifications.  Per state limit $5M/year and projects can be started on rolling basis. Presidential Administration supports have increased from FY16 at $6M and in FY21 now at $13.73M—creating more opportunities for new partners.

Sharon concluded with several examples—Muncy Flood Risk Management Study (PA) County and SRBC partners.  A local Bank was a partner and interested in risk to mortgages in flood plan and contributed to becoming a resilient community.  

St. Croix Chippewa Embankment Study-fully federally funded under cost share waiver for tribes.

League City TX (Houston suburb)—Hurricane Harvey sea surge—use of USACE expertise in estimating storm surge. 

Tijuana River Watershed Sediment Study-City of San Diego —sediment transport model able to look at entire watershed through bi-national watershed group.  

  • Internship project update from 2021 Interns—Aislinn McLaughlin gave an overview of what she will be looking for in her review of state water plans, which will include whether drought planning or climate change is included.  Pooja added that MN just finished their update and a real focus on climate change and also working on their drought planning.  
  • Water Planning issues to discuss at Roundtable in April—Sue gave an update on the preliminary agenda for the April 15-16 Virtual roundtable.  Several federal agencies with programs which support planning will be speaking. 
  • Topics and speakers for future water planning learning opportunities—Mabel asked that an update on Reclamation’s Water Smart grants would be a future meeting topic of interest.  Owen added that he was aware that North Dakota, Washington and Colorado each may have interesting funding perspectives to share with the committee. 
  • Additional items to add to 2021 committee workplan—Deferred until Jennifer could be in the conversation. 
  • Next call or webinar—Tentatively set for March 29, depending upon speaker availability. 

Water Planning Committee:  Provide a forum of the exchange of ideas and concepts related to state and regional water planning. 

2019/20 Accomplishments:

  • Webinars from several state planning efforts
  • Contributed Planning topics/speakers for Annual Meeting and Washington DC Roundtable

Issues for 2021 Workplan

  1. Continue with Webinar presentations from individual states on their water planning programs
  2. Support for PAS
  3. Water Quality and Infrastructure—how ICWP might integrate these topics with our main mission topic areas
  4. Planning topics at 2021 Washington Roundtable