White House Water Summit to Include ASFPM Partnership to Promote Nature's Role in Reducing Flood Risk
Washington, DC, March 22 - A partnership project between the Association of State Floodplain Managers, The Nature Conservancy, American
Planning Association, National Association of Counties and Sasaki Partners to help communities
determine the role nature can play in reducing flood risk will be among the
projects highlighted during a White House Water Summit today. The Water Summit
recognizes meaningful grassroots and civic action of more than 150
organizations in conjunction with World Water Day. The event is designed to raise
awareness of water issues and potential solutions in the United States, and to
catalyze ideas and actions to help build a sustainable and secure water future
through innovative science and technology.
In February, the partners responded to
President Obama's call for commitments and projects to build a more sustainable
water future. In their submission to the White House, the partners committed
to, "Develop a free, publicly-available online siting guide that communities can use to identify a suite of potential
nature-based solutions to flooding challenges. The guide will serve as a
helpful tool to support municipalities in investing in natural systems and
nature-based solutions to address their flooding challenges."
Woiwode, who serves as the risk reduction project manager for The Nature
Conservancy, said he is pleased that the efforts undertaken by the partners to
incorporate natural solutions to help reduce flood risk for communities have
earned the attention of the White House.
"Average flood losses in the U.S. have increased steadily to
nearly $10 billion annually, and the National Flood Insurance Program is $24
billion in debt,"Â Woiwode said. "Something must change. In the past, we have
overlooked the role that nature itself can play alongside manmade structures
like seawalls or dams and levees. And, at the same time, natural solutions can
provide a host of other benefits, like improved water quality and enhanced
wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Communities have choices in
how they prepare for and respond to river flooding or coastal storm surges and
we want to help them understand what those choices are and how they can benefit
Woiwode added that the appeal of this
project is the collaboration of the partners involved and the varied interests
they represent and the expertise they bring to the table.
The White House Water Summit will be streamed live March
22, beginning at 9 a.m. EST, at www.whitehouse.gov/live.