The Multiple Benefits of Floodplain Easements

Download the report This report provides a snapshot of a single round of successful and highly sought after Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) floodplain easements in the Upper Mississippi River Basin states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.  Floodplain easements are a cost-effective way to minimize flood impacts, reduce repeat damages and store floodwaters… Read more »

Bay-Delta Conservation Plan

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a collaborative planning effort between governmental regulatory agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the public, and is designed to achieve the co-equal goals of restoring the Delta’s ecosystem and improving water supply reliability for over 25 million Californians. The goals of the BDCP are to: Restore Bay-Delta habitat Reinvigorate native species,… Read more »

Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project

The Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project is part of an effort to restore the more than 350,000 acres of tidal wetland in the Delta Region that have been lost to agricultural reclamation over the last 150 years.  The project is the first large-scale tidal wetland restoration effort in the Delta and represents an important… Read more »

Record Midwest Floods Threaten Communities with ‘Walls of Water’

Roughly a quarter of the 40,000 residents evacuated Minot, North Dakota’s fourth largest city due to record flooding on the Souris River. The Souris River flows into Canada and is overtopping its levees due to heavy rainfall and releases from Canadian dams. The flooding on the Souris breaks the 1881 record and the river is… Read more »

Yolo Bypass and the Fremont Weir

Near-term opportunities to reduce the conflict between ecosystem needs and water supply in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are critical and limited.  The continued survival of endangered populations depends upon a balance between the two.  Typically, benefits to the ecosystem imply a negative impact on water supply, and vice versa. Clear scientific evidence, however, shows that… Read more »

Floodplain Easements are a Wise Investment & Bring Multiple Benefits

After 10 years of cuts to agricultural conservation programs, no one is doing more with less than the NRCS. Effective flood management requires us to use a host of tools and techniques, from improved stormwater management to floodplain ordinances that keep us from building in flood-prone places (a bad habit we’ve continued since the Great… Read more »

Putting Climate Politics Before People: USDA Edition

Stop me if this sounds familiar. The House of Representatives today passed an amendment [subscription required] that would keep the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from integrating future climate conditions into its programs and operations. This is like the Department of Homeland Security amendment from a couple weeks ago — another short-sighted political maneuver that… Read more »

Weathering Change

Download the full report [PDF] Go to report website (includes individual chapter downloads) Bringing Federal Policy into the 21st Century Many federal policies still encourage the same backward-looking water management approaches that didn’t work in the past and are even less suited to the future. Federal funding and policies reward wasteful water use and support… Read more »

The Tale of Two Rivers (and one very large river basin): as the Mississippi River flooding lingers, communities along the Missouri River are witnessing unprecedented flooding

As communities begin to recover from flooding along the Mississippi River, communities along the Missouri River [PDF] from the Dakotas to Iowa to Nebraska to Missouri are bracing for unprecedented flooding. The flooding is unprecedented due to record levels of snowfall (see NY Times image below) in the Rocky Mountains, snow that is late to… Read more »