Hurricane Season Begins, NACWA Discusses Resiliency at Flood Risk Workshop

two(June 5, 2018) – As hurricane season officially arrived June 1, NACWA, along with the National Association of Floods and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA), gathered in in San Antonio, TX last week for a workshop and roundtable discussion on how municipal clean water utilities, stormwater agencies, and flood control districts can learn from past flood events, mitigate risks, and strive for greater resiliency.

David Maurstad, the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), discussed the Agency’s newly released 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which aims to build a culture of preparedness, ready the nation for catastrophic disasters, and reduce the complexity of the Agency.

Maurstad emphasized the importance of being prepared at all levels of government for natural disasters and discussed FEMA’s work on this front.  But he also highlighted the need to close the flood insurance gap and expand the number of property owners accessing flood insurance, noting that the federal government cannot continue to pick up the full bill for catastrophic disasters.

The workshop explored lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey, the wildfires that decimated areas of Ventura County, CA, as well as a flashback presentation of the 2008 major flood event that occurred in Cedar Rapids, IA and the very real long-term recovery process that ensued.  NACWA members presented at the workshop as the Association partnered with NAFSMA to ensure that municipal clean water and stormwater utility perspectives were included in the discussion.   

NAFMSA plans on publishing a report of the workshop and dialogue before their annual meeting in July. NACWA will continue engaging with NAFSMA on this important issue, as well as working with NACWA member utilities and other water groups on furthering the discussion on resiliency.

For more information on the event, contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Outreach.