Large and small communities alike face increasing flood risk in many regions due to storms, heavy rainfall, and other weather events. This makes the need for sustainable and robust planning all the more imperative.

That’s why Dutch and American experts partnered in creating a guide, “Adaptation for All,” which highlights how flooding affects communities of different sizes and how they can come together to confront it.

Drawing on examples from the US and the Netherlands, a country with a long history of flood challenges and innovations, this guide is for communities of every size looking for strategies to address flooding. The guide could also help smaller communities in coastal and inland areas, as they often lack the resources or access to financing or federal funding needed to develop resilience strategies.

“Since Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago, Dutch practitioners and leaders, such as engineers, policy experts, and architects, have been collaborating with their American counterparts to make US communities more resilient,” said Ambassador André Haspels. “Since the lion’s share of the Netherlands is structurally prone to flooding, good water management and integrated planning are essential for the existence of our country. By distilling the shared experiences of Dutch and American resilience experts into practical approaches for smaller communities, we hope to include more communities in the discussion about turning flood risks into opportunities to shape their futures as places to call home.”

Melissa Roberts, executive director of the American Flood Coalition, agreed.

“We present this guide as a starting point for any community looking to determine which approach best suits their circumstances,” she said. “We partnered with the Dutch embassy and Dutch engineering firm Arcadis to bring the lens of centuries of flooding expertise to shape approaches for an American context.”

The March 11 program started with keynote remarks from Ambassador Haspels and Ms. Roberts, and continued with an introduction to the guide by Saskia Pardaans, the embassy’s senior advisor for infrastructure and water management. Participants then participated in breakout sessions dedicated to coastal approaches and watershed and storm water approaches.

Here are pdfs from the webinar:

You can also watch the sessions: