Global water solutions leader Black & Veatch announced its selection by the city of Charleston, S.C., to draft a comprehensive, integrated flood mitigation plan for the 155-square-mile community along the Atlantic Ocean.
With Black & Veatch serving as an owner’s agent and project lead, company officials said the extensive evaluation will help Charleston understand, plan for, prioritize, manage and adapt to current and future flood risks, developing a 25-year framework of flood-mitigating strategies for near- and long-term community resilience.
The Black & Veatch team also will provide owner’s advisory services for Charleston’s coastal defense system if or when the city moves into the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the officials said.
As the destructive effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced, most notably along coastal seaboards, Charleston – South Carolina’s biggest city, rapidly growing with 157,000 residents – is taking action by commissioning its first citywide flood-prevention strategy in nearly four decades.
The city’s goal is to develop a carefully crafted plan to address its coastal threats and provide a blueprint for other coastal communities to advance their own resilience strategies.
“Charleston’s rich and deep history includes a long pattern of flooding that’s becoming more pronounced with climate change, sea level rise, rain bombs and impacts of high and King tides,” said Dale Morris, Charleston’s chief resilience officer.
“A key goal is to develop multiple-benefit approaches to flood risk and sea level rise adaptation while embracing our low-county marshes, creeks, rivers and coastal waters.”
“Demonstrating its aspirational and bold vision, Charleston is among the coast’s first cities to begin innovative, forward-looking planning for and management of flooding, taking seriously the realities of climate change impacts that include sea rise and tidal surges,” said Stephen O’Connell, a Charleston-based project manager for Black & Veatch.
“Charleston is steadfast in ensuring that its population and its guests continue to enjoy all that that scenic, historic city has to offer, and Black & Veatch will leverage its time-tested expertise to make that happen.”
The company’s service offerings include national expertise from the water management, coastal and civil engineering, nature-based design and community planning fields.