Floods, water infrastructure and the electrical grid are all in need of attention, and the federal government is investing an additional $6 billion to support this resilience work.
Extreme Weather Requires Attention
Though there has been progress toward the reduction of climate emissions, assessments are finding that the increase of extreme weather events is taking a toll on people–and money. Engineering News Record reports: “Climate-change related extreme weather events cost the U.S. at least $150 billion each year, with a disproportionately high impact on underserved and under-resourced communities, it noted. The U.S. now experiences a billion-dollar disaster every three weeks on average, compared to once every four months during the 1980s…”.
The newly allocated $6 billion aimed at improving resilience in the face of extreme weather includes:
- $3.9 billion for the second round of funding in the DOE Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, which funds upgrades to aging electric grid infrastructure….
- $300 million through the second round of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Swift Current initiative, which seeks to provide mitigation assistance to communities that are repeatedly affected by flooding disasters.
Additionally, ENR shares: “The Interior Dept. also will soon announce $100 million for water infrastructure upgrades in western U.S. states experiencing drought, and $166 million authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act to support ecosystem resilience, restoration and environmental planning needs for the National Park Service.”
Follow The Money
Among the 58 projects recently awarded in the first round of the GRIP program are a “grid-interactive efficient buildings network” in Vermont and the “design, planning and construction of five transmission projects across Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota…”. Industry experts encourage smaller contractors eager to get in on the action of public builds to take hope, since big projects typically have a “halo effect,” generating many other construction jobs around them.
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