GEI Consultants, Inc., one of the nation’s leading geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firms, announces its contribution as a member of the United States team to the International Levee Handbook, a new global guide to best practices on the design, construction, maintenance, and improvement of levees.
The handbook was released to the public and celebrated by world leaders at a launch event on Oct. 3, 2013 in in Aix-en-Provence, France.
In the last decade, flooding events including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy in the United States, monsoons in Pakistan, and deluged rivers in Germany have placed an increased focus on the vital role of levees and other structures in mitigating flood risk and damage. The ongoing effects of climate change and socio-economic changes will only continue to have an impact on these structures in years to come.
The 1,350-page International Levee Handbook is the culmination of more than four years of work between governments, institutes, businesses, and internationally-renowned levee experts in Great Britain, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Germany, and the United States to offer levee guidance, and a framework for international support on engineering decisions.
GEI’s Steve Verigin, P.E., G.E., the firm’s west region manager, served on the executive steering board for the United States during the development of the handbook. Under the project’s formal structure, members of the executive steering board, comprised of three representatives from each participating nation, were consulted as main decision makers on the handbook. The panel worked to ensure information was integrated into the handbook to meet stated objectives; all technical disputes reported by the editorial teams were resolved; and all technical material was approved and agreed upon before publication. In 2012, Verigin and GEI hosted the handbook’s technical editors for a weeklong working session in Sacramento, Calif.
“Individual governments are beginning to recognize the importance of national levee safety programs, and this consortium’s view on protecting lives, property, and infrastructure is a successful example of how we can all learn from our global engineering partners,” said Ray Hart, P.E., G.E., GEI’s president and CEO.
“The lessons offered through this new handbook will help us to elevate our industry’s work as a whole.”
In addition to his work on the handbook committee, Verigin is a member of the U.S. National Committee on Levee Safety, created by Congress in 2008 to create a strategic plan for implementation of national levee safety standards.
Press Release, November 8, 2013