What to Expect as States Move to Require Resiliency Studies for Infrastructure Projects
As climate change continues to worsen, state and federal agencies overseeing infrastructure are increasingly requiring resiliency studies to be conducted for infrastructure projects. These studies help identify vulnerabilities and potential impacts of future climate change and outline adaptation measures to ensure the infrastructure is resilient and prepared for the future.
For engineering companies, this presents a unique opportunity to help clients navigate the process and conduct a thorough resiliency study that meets state and federal requirements. In this blog post, we'll explore key study components and how engineering companies can assist their clients in conducting these studies.
One of the primary components of a resiliency study is a vulnerability assessment. This may involve hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for infrastructure that faces flood hazards. Vulnerability to other current and future hazards such as extreme temperatures, wildfire, sea level rise, and drought should be assessed for both current and future climate. By identifying these vulnerabilities early on, the necessary design changes can be made to reduce the risk of damage or disruption and ensure the infrastructure is built to withstand future climate-related events.
Impact and Risk Assessment
The next critical component of a resiliency study is impact and risk assessment. This requires identifying potential impacts of future climate change on the infrastructure project, including changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme weather events. By conducting a thorough risk assessment, engineering companies can help clients identify the most significant risks and prioritize mitigation measures to ensure that the infrastructure can withstand these impacts.
Once the potential risks and impacts have been identified, the next step is to conduct an adaptation analysis. This involves identifying potential adaptation measures that can be implemented to reduce damage and disruption from future climate-related events. Engineering companies can help clients identify and evaluate potential adaptation measures, such as green infrastructure, drainage improvements, structural improvements, and other mitigation strategies. By considering a range of adaptation measures, engineering companies can help clients identify the most effective and cost-efficient solutions.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Finally, a resiliency study must include a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the adaptation measures. Engineering companies can help their clients conduct a detailed cost-benefit analysis that considers the upfront costs of implementing the adaptation measures, as well as the long-term benefits of reducing the risk of future climate-related damage and disruption.
As states and federal governments increasingly require resiliency studies for infrastructure projects, engineering companies have a unique opportunity to assist their clients in conducting these studies. By providing climate and hazard modeling, impact and risk assessment, adaptation analysis, and cost-benefit analysis, engineering companies can help their clients identify potential risks and adapt to the impacts of climate change. With climate change projected to worsen in the coming years, resiliency studies are a critical step in ensuring that our infrastructure is prepared for the future.
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