While we are observing these changes climate changes today, the details of the long-term threats such as total depth of sea level rise are difficult to accurately predict. For example, will sea level rise in 2050 be 1 or 3 feet? In 2100, will it be 3 or 7 feet? Since the expected life cycle for infrastructure and development investments is more than 50 years, these investments need to be resilient to these future changes.
Our team provides a wide range of engineering and science services to help our clients protect their investments from future climate change impacts. These services range from developing flood control programs ranging from watersheds to neighborhoods, developing alternative sources of energy such as solar developments and microgrid systems, providing flood protection for existing buildings and utilities, addressing water quality impacts to water supplies and recreational waters, and implementing green infrastructure in urban neighborhoods to both reduce flooding and reduce heat impacts.
Our strength is working with clients to develop hybrid techniques that utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to develop designs that cost-effectively improve project resilience. A good example of multi-disciplinary approaches is to incorporate natural systems into traditional gray infrastructure in order to make the systems more resilient to change. The value of natural systems is that they can naturally adjust to changes in conditions, require substantially less maintenance as well as provide a number of indirect impacts such as improving shade and habitat. These hybrid approaches not only make infrastructure and development more resilient but they also can significantly reduce capital and maintenance costs.
We have helped our clients develop creative solutions to address a wide range of climate resiliency challenges. Our clients have included a range of utility providers (e.g. Providence Water, Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority), municipalities (e.g. City of New Bedford, MA; City of Milford, CT), state agencies (e.g. CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, RI Coastal Resources Management Council) and non-profit agencies (e.g. The Nature Conservancy, Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association) and federal agencies (Natural Resources Conservation Service). Our projects have spanned from macro-scale studies such as the Pawcatuck River Flood Resiliency Management Plan to specific designs to address direct issues such as the Beachland Avenue and Field Court in Milford, CT which includes which includes raising the road and designing a stormwater pump station, as well as other drainage improvements.
Preparing for climate change requires financial resources. We know how to help our clients obtain funding for their projects – from both traditional and innovative sources – and put those funds to the best use. In many cases we use innovative approaches that help position our clients for additional sources of funding.