Creating Resiliency Webinar Recap

Creating Resiliency Webinar Recap
This summarizes our recent webinar event, where our speakers discussed how to manage change and find opportunities for value.

Creating Resiliency

    On October 20th, 2016, water leaders from around the country gathered virtually at a CDM Smith webinar to learn more about how they could create resiliency in their communities. Scroll on to find out what they learned and gather your own insights!
    Our panelists, water resources guru Michael Schmidt and climate change expert Lauren Miller, carried us through the webinar. As two of CDM Smith's resiliency trail­blaz­ers, both have a myriad of experience in creating resiliency.

    Resiliency Defined

    Our panelists kicked the webinar off with a brief lightning round, defining the value of creating resiliency in one sentence.

    Both Mike and Lauren identified resiliency as a proactive approach to minimize risk, prepare for future threats such as water supply threat, sea level rise, economic growth, and safety, and maximize value and save money in the long-term.

    Ultimately, being resilient means having a better ability to manage threats to your community.
    Now that we know what resiliency is, how does it differ from sustain­abil­ity?
    Lauren helped compare and contrast two terms that are often confused with one another: resiliency and sustain­abil­ity:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Sustain­abil­ity vs Resiliency
    What does climate change mean for your region?
    Lauren, our climate change expert, explained that each region will experience a unique combination of threats at various magnitudes. Factoring in seasonal changes, it's possible that the same region could experience flooding during one season and drought in another. Some of the most concerning impacts include shifting seasonal precip­i­ta­tion patterns and an increased number of extreme heat days. These changes could potentially impact the way our energy systems operate and threaten our water quality and avail­abil­ity.
    The many components of resiliency
    Mike showed us how being proactive in assessing risks and vulner­a­bil­i­ties can help identify solutions and create resilient communities. As Mike explained, there are at least 12 areas in which resiliency can be built:
    1. Climate change adaptation: identifying the risks and prior­i­tiz­ing the improve­ments that will make a difference
    2. Integrated stormwater management: treating stormwater as a resource, not a waste product
    3. Green infra­struc­ture: building natural system and landscape solutions for rainfall and runoff
    4. “One Water” management: using integrated water resource planning to create a more resilient approach to water
    5. Water supply: building a sustainable and reliable source of the resource we can't live without
    6. Drought and flood prepared­ness and response: preparing for the worst and building back stronger when disaster strikes
    7. Groundwater management and aquifer recharge: protecting and replen­ish­ing precious resources
    8. Surface water management: for potable water, water storage and recreation
    9. Ecosystem restoration: preserving and rebuilding habitats and natural resources
    10. Coastal protection and restoration: strength­en­ing shorelines and coastal systems
    11. Decision support: intelligent software tools that help you make tough choices
    12. Funding: Developing oppor­tu­ni­ties to pay for resilient projects through collab­o­ra­tion and deter­mi­na­tion


    Resiliency in Action

    Our panelists shared the stories of three communities that, through a combination of foresight and circum­stances, have prioritized creating resiliency and are seeing positive results from their efforts.
    Jack­sonville, Florida's Quest for Resiliency
    Mike, a Jack­sonville native, shared the details of Jack­sonville's integrated stormwater management plan and the benefits it has provided since 1987. The program has enhanced infra­struc­ture, evaluated areas of need and brought value to the city for three decades.
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Jack­sonville's Stormwater Master Plan
    The program has already brought added value of over $25 million and helped the city mitigate impacts from the recent impacts of Hurricane Matthew:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: How Jack­sonville's Stormwater Mgmt Saved Money
    Salem, Mass­a­chu­setts Assesses Climate Change Vulner­a­bil­ity
    Having worked closely on a vulner­a­bil­ity assessment and adaptation plan for Salem, MA, Lauren showed us the future climate change impacts Salem faces. Walking us through the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and prior­i­ti­za­tion of vulner­a­bil­i­ties, she identified various adaptation strategies and how explained they fed into one encom­pass­ing adaptation plan:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Planning Salem's Resiliency
    Lauren dug in deeper by showing us how these identified vulner­a­bil­i­ties can turn into full-fledged, funded projects enhancing resiliency:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Funding Salem's Resiliency
    Minot, North Dakota Builds Back Stronger
    Mike recalled the major flooding in Minot, North Dakota in 2011 and shared how CDM Smith is helping the city ensure that it is equipped with resilient tools to prevent a similar occurrence in the future through disaster relief and winning valuable funding to create a more resilient city:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Minot, ND Bounces Back Resilient
    In addition to providing disaster relief support and lending a helping hand in the realm of funding, CDM Smith created a decision support tool to help Minot identify operational synergies and make tough decisions with greater ease:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Minot, ND's Decision Support Tool
    Learn more from the Rockefeller Foundation about how 2011's record precip­i­ta­tion and heavy snowmelt impacted the community:
    The Road to Resilience: Minot


    Funding Resiliency

    After learning about resiliency, it's hard to ignore the benefits it brings. But how do you find the money to fund resilient projects? Lauren and Mike walked us through a variety of funding sources and oppor­tu­ni­ties that are available.
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Funding Resiliency
    The bottom line: be persistent, be creative -- and collaborate, collaborate, collaborate with your peer agencies and fellow community leaders!
    Where can you start?
    Our experts gave those interested in creating resiliency advice on where to start:
    1. Assess the level of risk your community is comfortable with.
    2. Assess the vulner­a­bil­ity of your citizens and infra­struc­ture.
    3. Incorporate planning and actions into your current and future projects, adding resiliency strategies "as you go."
    And our attendees, who made this webinar wonderful, had some really insightful questions for our panelists:
    Creating Resiliency Webinar: Q&A


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