Image of flooding in the Red River Basin

Funding Awarded for Network Project on Long-Term Flood Preparedness and Response

The North Central Region Water Network and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development are pleased to announce a new seed-funded project beginning this month. The project will focus on long-term flood preparedness and response and assess long-term flood planning and preparedness needs for agriculture and communities that Extension is best suited to address.

In recent years, increases in annual and seasonal precipitation, rising water tables and high flows in rivers have had a substantial impact in the North Central region. Flooding is a hazard that affects every state in the region, with an elevated risk to be a multi-state hazard again in spring 2020. The changes in climate that have occurred over the last several decades, and are expected in the future, make flash flooding and long-term flooding hazards to agriculture and communities in the region.

This project will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of representatives from nine North Central states to capture the breadth of Extension’s role in long-term flooding in the North Central region to date. Together, the team will:

  • Document existing resources used to address long-term flooding past and present
  • Conduct a gap analysis to identify areas of possible growth and underserved audiences
  • Create recommendations to further develop Extension’s capacity to plan for and respond to long-term flooding

The team will work with a post-doctoral scholar to catalog existing Extension flood resources, including those available through the Extension Disaster Education Network, or EDEN, and those created in the past that are no longer up to date. They then plan to host a workshop with team members and key partners – including staff from the USDA, NOAA, watershed groups, community, tribal or civic leaders, state agriculture agencies, emergency management, and public safety, and those who work on planning for natural disasters at state, local or regional levels – to review the catalog of resources and collectively conduct a gaps analysis on what resources should be updated, and what key resources are missing.

The final result of the team will be a whitepaper outlining their work and their recommendations for the future.

This multi-state, multidisciplinary team is led by Laura Edwards of South Dakota State University Extension. While nine states are currently involved, the team is looking to engage other states to ensure a comprehensive review of resources. If you are interested in getting involved, reach out to Laura for more information.

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