Charleston Turns to Black & Veatch To Map Out City's Water Resilience Future

Historic, seaside South Carolina city pursues next-generation water plan, land-use management strategy
Dec 27, 2022 10:00 AM ET

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. December 27, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Global water solutions leader Black & Veatch today announces its selection by the city of Charleston, South Carolina, to draft a comprehensive, integrated flood mitigation plan for the 155-square-mile community along the Atlantic Ocean.

With Black & Veatch serving as an owner’s agent and project lead, the extensive evaluation will help Charleston understand, plan for, prioritize, manage and adapt to current and future flood risks, developing a 25-year framework of flood-mitigating strategies for near- and long-term community resilience. The Black & Veatch team also will be providing owner’s advisory services for Charleston’s coastal defense system if or when the city moves into the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As the destructive effects of climate change becoming more pronounced, most notably along coastal seaboards, Charleston – South Carolina’s biggest city, rapidly growing with 157,000 residents – is taking action by commissioning its first citywide flood-prevention strategy in nearly four decades. The city’s goal is to develop a carefully crafted plan to address its coastal threats and provide a blueprint for other coastal communities to advance their own resilience strategies.

“Charleston’s rich and deep history includes a long pattern of flooding that’s becoming more pronounced with climate change, sea level rise, rain bombs and impacts of high and King tides,” said Dale Morris, Charleston’s chief resilience officer. “A key goal is to develop multiple-benefit approaches to flood risk and sea level rise adaptation while embracing our low-county marshes, creeks, rivers and coastal waters.”

Often battered by hurricanes and the deluges they bring, Charleston is investing on its multifaceted approach to address its complex drainage issues manifested by development and climate change, the (Charleston) Post and Courier has reported.

“Demonstrating its aspirational and bold vision, Charleston is among the coast’s first cities to begin innovative, forward-looking planning for and management of flooding, taking seriously the realities of climate change impacts that include sea rise and tidal surges,” said Stephen O’Connell, a Charleston-based project manager for Black & Veatch. “Charleston is steadfast in ensuring that its population and its guests continue to enjoy all that that scenic, historic city has to offer, and Black & Veatch will leverage its time-tested expertise to make that happen.”

Black & Veatch brings to the effort in-depth local knowledge about Charleston, given the global critical human infrastructure leader’s vast experience in leading the city’s most significant water-related plans and projects over the past two decades. The company’s service offerings include best-in-class national expertise from the water management, coastal and civil engineering, nature-based design and community planning fields.

“Black & Veatch has assembled a world-class team of subject matter experts – including Biohabitats, Moffatt & Nichol, and Waggonner & Ball Architecture/Environment – to help Charleston develop an integrated strategy to mitigate flooding and adapt our historic city to extreme weather and rising seas,” Morris said. “Charleston’s resilience and its future demand nothing less.”

Editor’s Notes:

  • For more information about Black & Veatch’s water solutions involving flood risk management, flood protection, resiliency and other topics, click here.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a 100-percent employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2021 exceeded US$3.3 billion. Follow us on and on social media.

Media Contact Information:

JIM SUHR | +1 913-458-6995 P |