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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary — Sept 26, 2022: Trish Anslow, USACE “Strategic Planning & Water Resources Accomplishments”

Meeting Summary

Water Planning Committee

September 26, 2022

12:30pmMT/ 1:30pmCT/ 2:30pmET

Link to Meeting Recording: https://youtu.be/R9nW3K1zI8Y

  1. Call to Order – Jennifer Hoggatt, Missouri DNR; Chair – called to order at 1:35pmCT
  2. Introductions of participants: Jennifer Hoggatt (Committee Chair), Andrew Dehoff (ICWP Chair), Beth Callaway (ICWP Executive Director), Ed Swaim, Kay Whittington, Kirk Westphal, Maria Wegner (USACE), Tom Jester (USACE), Trish Answlow (USACE), Melinda Fegler, Abby Ebach.
  3. Presentation: “Strategic Planning and Water Resources Accomplishments”, Trish Anslow, Planning & Policy Division Chief, USACE Southwest Division was also joined by Maria Wegner (Senior Economics Policy Advisor) and Tom Jester (Planner for USACE SW Division).

Trish Anslow — Gave a history of the commencement of the USACE SW Division Strategic Plan. It started in 2019 when USACE SW Division decided they needed documentation to help with understanding of Civil Works challenges within the region.

The large scale Civil Works Strategic Plan started in 2014. USACE recruited feedback from all stakeholders to determine big risk areas. They looked at the nexus between those challenges and where challenges could go in the future. In June 2022, USACE hosted a regional Civil Works workshop to look at the draft document. The focus decided to be on 3 areas for improvement: 1) within USACE, 2) with partners, and what is needed to strengthen those partnerships, and 3) are there specific projects that USACE could assist with. The main risk drivers that were identified were:

  • Impacts of rapid population growth
  • changing regional landscapes
  • Extreme weather (floods and drought)
  • Uncertain energy future
  • increasing demand on water resources
  • aging infrastructure

A major take home was to focus on integrated water resources management.

Tom Jester – Summarized highlights of identified actions USACE decided to prioritize. This included facilitation and identification of funding streams, facilitating data sharing, supporting state level communication of water resource needs, improved engagement with underserved communities, and regularly conducting risk and opportunity assessment workshops, reduced project development and implementation timelines, lead advancement of IWRM planning, and to identify and participate in regional planning initiatives.

Committee discussion – USACE gave examples of IWRM multiple wins for multiple stakeholders: SW division is looking at the system holistically (instead of just the symptom of one problem) giving meaning to how we work better together. A big area of this focus is Planning Assistance to States – how can states at a regional level help one another? Can we use that to keep datasets up to date and integrated? Ideas leveraging funding: advice is to get the requests in with fully developed scopes; States should think about new approaches to get to communities that otherwise don’t have the resources. Drought and contingency planning is an important focus given current drought and climate change conditions. There are good opportunities to marry technology with existing programs that could be expanded into Planning Assistance to States for reservoir operations.

Follow up contact to: thomas.s.jester@usace.army.mil.

  1. 2022 ICWP Internship Program final reports – Beth reminded the Committee that the final reports are now available and posted on ICWP’s website:
    1. Evaluating the Health of Aging Irrigation Infrastructure on a Statewide Level by Kimber Logan
    2. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook by Kelly Shen
    3. Review of Federal Climate Action Plans by Natalie Von Turkovich
  2. ICWP 2022 Annual Meeting – Oct. 25-27th @ Davenport, IA
  3. Other committee topics
    1. Innovative funding approaches – The goal is to find places where crossover connections can be made. Next steps: resurrect USACE PAS conversations to evaluate new and ongoing opportunities to work with states.
    2. Others?
  1. Set next meeting  — November 14th at 2pmCT