ALEXANDRIA, Va. – (Oct. 3, 2022) Flooding is a universal challenge, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is sharing their tools and methodologies in the fight against floods with international partners.
Experts from USACE’s Institute for Water Resources – Hydrologic Engineering Center (IWR-HEC) traveled to Roorkee, India to deliver training Sept. 26-29 on their modeling and simulation software, known as HEC-RAS (River Analysis System). HEC-RAS models the hydraulics of water flow through natural rivers and other channels to help hydraulic engineers better understand the nuances of how water moves, and most importantly, where flooding is likely to take place. This is a critical capability for India, which is home to a state known as the wettest place on earth, with flooding among the most common of their natural disasters.
Funded by the U.S. State Department and in coordination with the Pacific Ocean Division, IWR leads trained 30 delegates from the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), on the integrated hydraulic methods and geospatial capabilities within HEC-RAS, and its ability to handle complex modeling.
Stanford Gibson, a senior hydraulic engineer at IWR’s Hydrologic Engineer Center and HEC-RAS instructor, showcased how the software helps engineers analyze and solve water challenges ranging from a single river reach, which is a section of a stream or river, up to a network of channels. “The information we presented will help India’s National Institute of Hydrology develop their quantitative river hydraulic capabilities, flood risk management and urban planning efforts across India,” Gibson said. “In addition to teaching, we are also working with NIH scientists on some of their problems and HEC-RAS models, including projects ranging from international water boundary agreements to how melting glaciers will affect life and land.”
Anil Kumar Lohani, a senior hydrologist from India’s National Institute of Hydrology, Head Surface Water Hydrology Division, said the training helped participants stay updated on the latest HEC-RAS software, version 6.2. “It strengthened our technical skills and proved to be a great learning experience, especially with the practical designing and planning sessions,” Lohani said. “The workshop provided some very concrete and easy-to-follow steps for setting up hydrodynamic models using HEC-RAS. The training is very helpful as it shows how to apply HEC-RAS 1-D and 2-D to solve different river hydraulics problems.”
Other HEC-RAS capabilities include numerous data entry capabilities, hydraulic analysis components, data storage and management capabilities, graphing and reporting capabilities and river analysis system mapping.
In addition to Gibson, other Hydraulic Engineering Center instructors included IWR-HEC’s Cameron Ackerman and Alex Sanchez.
Beyond the HEC-RAS workshop, USACE program leads acknowledge the value of international engagements with India. “The United States and India have shared interests in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity,” said Pacific Ocean Division International and Interagency Support lead, Kenneth Book. “This training is just one example of how the U.S. and India can come together to support our mutual goals in the field of engineering, and to enhance peace and prosperity in the region. We hope to continue our engagements with India on engineering topics like flood risk mitigation and more,” Book said.
On a larger scale, USACE is leading the way on the topic of water as it relates to climate change. "As America's Engineers and experts on water resources, it makes sense that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is recognized as a leader on the topic of climate resilience. We've been providing innovative solutions based on science and research for the past 247 years and we continue to seek out innovative approaches to water-based challenges and opportunities today. We are continuously looking toward the future to ensure we are adapting our policies, programs, and approaches to ensure USACE’s projects will perform throughout their life cycles under the full range of plausible future climate scenarios. USACE also shares its adaptation methods and tools with the public and our partners to help them overcome the impacts of global change,” said Mr. Edward Belk, Interim Director of Civil Works.
"In addition to these climate preparedness actions by the Engineering and Construction workforce, USACE also has significant expertise in climate preparedness within its Institute for Water Resources and Engineering Research and Development Center. The researchers working at these organizations are dedicated to finding solutions and working closely with industry and academic leaders to seek out innovative approaches to plan for and mitigate against climate change,” Belk said.
About HEC: The Hydraulic Engineering Center (HEC), located in Davis, California, and is part of the Institute of Water Resource, a support activity to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program. The primary goal of the Hydrologic Engineering Center (CEIWR-HEC) is to support the nation in its water resources management responsibilities by increasing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) technical capability in hydrologic engineering and water resources planning and management.