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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary — January 26th, 2023

Link to recording: https://youtu.be/_-5H7YNmBEE


  1. Call to order & welcome from new committee chair – Mark Masters, Albany State University – Georgia Water Policy Center & committee chair
  2. Introductions of participants: Mark Masters, Beth Callaway, John Boyer, Lauren Salvato, Wes Cattoor, Ben Prat, John Balay, Michael Weller
  3. Guest presentations: “USACE Planning Assistance to States Success Stories & Lessons Learned”


  • John Balay and Ben Pratt — Susquehanna River Basin Commission
    • SRBC has had a long standing partnership with USACE which has facilitated their involvement with PAS type projects. The presentation covered several examples of SRBC PAS funded projects.
    • Susquehanna Flood Warning and Response System – study to evaluate flood risk which included an online platform to enable damage assessment capability.
    • Benefits to PAS – funding enables recipient budgets to be extended, great partnership opportunity, access to USACE contractors, not limited to just states.
    • Challenges to PAS – 50/50 cost share, aligning scope of work and budget, administrative lead time required, project closeout can be lengthy.
  • Lauren Salvato — Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
    • Five UMRBA states contributed resources for in-kind contributions and cash to utilize USACE PAS funds to restore water level availability.
    • It took time for everyone to be on the same page, so structured decision making was a useful model.
    • The basin is in a much better position now; as it allowed for more flexible decisionmaking, more funding is available and the partnerships make it possible.

4. Discussion — Evaluate new and ongoing opportunities for USACE to work with states & next steps

  • If there are not enough local entities to use PAS, why? it’s worth exploring. Could be lack of awareness, lack of relationships with districts. Some NGOs could be intimidated by hurdles to take on. Lack of resources for smaller organizations.
  • UMRBA’s scope of work was very broad which allowed for flexibility.

5. Set next meeting

  • February’s topic: invite Sharon with PAS HQ, discuss one more success story
  • In late march we will focus on groundwater planning issues