International Activities

Learning from International Partners

The United States is not the only country that needs to communicate flood risks, strike the appropriate balance between levee benefits and risks, and make investment decisions to reduce risk under constrained budgets. Political and legal systems vary from nation to nation, but the challenges of managing levees are similar. USACE Levee Safety Program is working with partner programs in a number of countries to share insights and improve levee safety on a global basis.

Partnership with the Netherlands Site visit in Florida with representatives from Rijkwaterstaat.

USACE and Rijkwaterstaat (RWS), the executive arm of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, have an agreement to share information and expertise.  Since 2008, staff representing the USACE Levee Safety Program have met biannually with staff from the RWS Center for Water Management to exchange technical information, and they recently completed a year-long staff exchange program. RWS has shared the methodologies behind a suite of Dutch[S1]  flood risk analysis tools, and USACE has helped RWS apply U.S. risk management and advanced flood fighting techniques.

International Levee Handbook 

Team Meeting for the development of the International Levee HandbookAn international team led by the United Kingdom, with support from Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States, is developing an International Levee Handbook that will capture international best practices across the entire life cycle of levee systems. Topics include form and function, operation and[S2]  maintenance, condition assessment, emergency management, site characterization, design, geotechnical performance, hydraulic performance, and construction. The handbook is scheduled for release in 2013.

Bagmati Brick Beds

Partnership with Bihar, India

The Levee Safety Program is sharing a variety of information with India’s most flood-prone state.  In a workshop organized by the World Bank, USACE experts travelled to Bihar to share information about the Levee[S3]  Safety Program and the tools and procedures the United States uses for levee management.  They demonstrated the use of the Levee Inspection System.  Representatives from the Bihar Water Resources Department have since visited the United States to observe levee safety practices in various USACE districts.

Partnership with HR Wallingford, UK. Levee Safety Program staff and staff from HR Wallingford are exploring common interests and challenges in levee risk assessment and portfolio management.  HR Wallingford is an independent non-profit organization, based in the UK, specializing in applied research and consultancy in floods, water management, and other civil engineering areas.  USACE has piloted several HR Wallingford methods and software tools on levees in this country.  The pilot study objective is to identify best practices, knowledge gaps, research needs, and opportunities for future collaboration.


International Levee Handbook Main website for the International Levee Handbook.

The USACE-RWS Partnership Latest article.