The 2011 Mississippi River Flood from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Perspective

September 14, 2011

featuring Ms. Karen Durham-Aguilera, P.E., SES, Director of Contingency Operations and Office of Homeland Security, Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers.

In Spring of 2011, heavy rains across the Southern and Midwestern U.S. resulted in the lower Mississippi River experiencing a 500-year flood. In a rare and controversial action, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened floodgates of the Morganza Spillway in an effort to protect Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Tens of thousands of homes in Mississippi and Louisiana were ordered evacuated during this time. To discuss the 2011 Mississippi River floods, Ms. Karen Durham-Aguilera, P.E., SES, presented the Corps' actions prior to/preparation of and during this event.

  • This was a joint event with the American Society of Civil Engineers, National Capital Section.
  • Thank you to event sponsor KCI.


Hydrophilanthropy: Sustaining Life and Economies of the Developing World

October 6, 2011

A panel discussion featuring: 

Dr. Andrew Deutz, director of The Nature Conservancy's International Government Relations Department;

Ms. Cynthia Hartley, chair of the Washington, DC Water for People Committee;

Mr. John Sparks, Director of Advocacy and Communications for the Millennium Water Alliance; and

Dr. Tamim Younos, Executive Vice President and Research Director for Environmental Sustainability Programs at the Cabell Brand Center for Global Poverty and Resource Sustainability Studies.

Around the world, 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without adequate sanitation facilities. Every day, nearly 6,000 people die from water-related illnesses, and the vast majority are children. Water is the greatest limiting factor in terms of many nations' abilities to develop. Many obstacles prevent access to a sufficient water supply or are a result of an inadequate supply, including conflict, famine, population and migration trends, poverty, and climate change, among other factors. Our panelists discussed the work their organizations are doing in support international water development.

  • Thank you to event sponsor CDM.


Innovations in Water Quality

May 7, 2011


Ted Gattino, Managing Partner, Blue Wing Environmental Solutions & Technologies, Tram Tour, and Picnic at Patuxent Research Refuge National Wildlife Center in Laurel, MD. Mr. Gattino presented the concept of a "floating island" and how this innovative technique addresses the needs for habitat improvement, water quality enhancement, and nutrient removal in estuarine and riverine environments. By imitating natural floating islands, these modular, manmade islands can be sized to reduce pollutants defined in the recently promulgated TMDL regulations for the Chesapeake Bay. Mt Gattino discussed the technical aspects of the floating island, including the sizing/design parameters, nutrient uptake rates, and water circulation patterns. Habitat creation benefits and regulatory permitting aspects also were discussed. The Annual Business meeting preceded the event.

  • Thank you to event sponsor, KCI.


Flooding - a Growing National and Regional Threat

March 15, 2011


National Flood Perspective:

Dr Gerry Galloway, University of Maryland

The National Capital Region:

Dr Gregory Baecher, University of Maryland;

Dr Mark Houck, George Mason University; and

Dr Pradeep Behera, University of the District of Columbia.

Presentations by members of the newly formed National Capital Region Flood Risk Assessment Program discussed development pressures that are moving more people into hazard areas, a crumbling flood protection infrastructure, and IPCC predictions of increased flooding as a result of climate change threaten to increase already rising flood damages, as well as catastrophic flooding occurring at an increasing rate across the United States, while at the same time much of downtown Washington and many other local areas are only marginally protected.


Water Reuse: Status and Prospects

February 9, 2011


Jon Freedman, General Electric;

Josh Johnson, Senior Republican staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee;

Camille Calimlim Touton, Democratic professional staff of the House Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee; and

Kiel Weaver, U.S. House Natural Resources Committee,

Betsy Cody, Congressional Research Service (moderator).

Panelists discussed the latest in water reuse technologies, including where such technologies are being used, future prospects for their use, controversies associated with direct and indirect reuse, and prospects for continued federal support in the 112th Congress

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