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About EWN

EWN Initiative

Engineering With Nature is the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to efficiently and sustainably deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaborative processes.

Sustainable development of water resources infrastructure is supported by solutions that beneficially integrate engineering and natural systems. With recent advances in the fields of engineering and ecology, there is an opportunity to combine these fields of practice into a single collaborative and cost-effective approach for infrastructure development and environmental management.

Key Elements

Sustainable Practices Venn diagram

Moving Toward Sustainable Practices

Triple-win outcomes can be achieved throughout EWN by systematically integrating social, environmental and economic considerations into decision making and actions at every phase of a project. The result will be innovative and resilient solutions that are more socially acceptable, viable and equitable and, ultimately, more sustainable.
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Moving Toward Sustainable Practices

Triple-win outcomes can be achieved throughout EWN by systematically integrating social, environmental and economic considerations into decision making and actions at every phase of a project. The result will be innovative and resilient solutions that are more socially acceptable, viable and equitable and, ultimately, more sustainable.

Sustainable Practices Venn diagram
  • Use science and engineering to produce operational efficiencies supporting sustainable delivery of project benefits.
  • Use natural processes to maximum benefit, thereby reducing demands on limited resources, minimizing the environmental footprint of projects, and enhancing the quality of project benefits.
  • Broaden and extend the base of benefits provided by projects to include substantiated economic, social, and environmental benefits.
  • Use science-based collaborative processes to organize and focus interests, stakeholders, and partners to reduce social friction, resistance, and project delays while producing more broadly acceptable projects.

EWN Strategic Plan 2018-2023

EWN Strategic Plan Cover image

Building on the success of EWN to date, the EWN Strategy 2018-2023 will expand implementation by:

  • Broadening and Deepening Partnerships;
  • Expanding Capabilities; and
  • Expanding Applications and Communication.
(PDF)

Building on the success of EWN to date, the EWN Strategy 2018-2023 will expand implementation by:

  • Broadening and deepening engagement and collaboration with colleagues across mission areas and organizations;
  • Growing the capability to apply EWN principles and practices at project and system scales; and
  • Increasing the number and diversity of EWN applications while communicating effectively about accomplishments and future opportunities.

By doing so, EWN will continue to support and advance the USACE Civil Works’ commitment to strengthen the Nation by bringing innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to the Nation’s water resources challenges while also contributing to the missions of its partners.

(PDF)

Building on the success of EWN to date, the EWN Strategy 2018-2023 will expand implementation by:

  • Broadening and Deepening Partnerships;
  • Expanding Capabilities; and
  • Expanding Applications and Communication.
(PDF)

Building on the success of EWN to date, the EWN Strategy 2018-2023 will expand implementation by:

  • Broadening and deepening engagement and collaboration with colleagues across mission areas and organizations;
  • Growing the capability to apply EWN principles and practices at project and system scales; and
  • Increasing the number and diversity of EWN applications while communicating effectively about accomplishments and future opportunities.

By doing so, EWN will continue to support and advance the USACE Civil Works’ commitment to strengthen the Nation by bringing innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to the Nation’s water resources challenges while also contributing to the missions of its partners.

(PDF)

Guiding Principles

  1. Hollistic
    an ecosystem approach for planning, designing, constructing and operating projects where social, economic and environmental factors are equitably weighed in the decision-making process. (close)
  2. A Systems Approach
    reflecting the reality that USACE projects exist in complex physical and social/cultural systems, and that a single action influences many other parts of the system. (close)
  3. Sustainable
    focused on the long-term sustainability and resilience of project solutions and the benefits streams provided by the system over time. (close)
  4. Science-based
    built on first understanding, then working deliberately with natural forces and processes to accomplish engineering goals. (close)
  5. Collaborative
    based on effective partner and stakeholder communication, engagement and collaboration through the entire life cycle of a project beginning at the earliest conceptual stages. (close)
  6. Efficient and cost effective
    reducing time and rework, while minimizing social friction. (close)
  7. Socially responsive
    aligned with the values, objectives, interests and priorities of USACE, partners, stake holders and society at large. (close)
  8. Innovative
    embracing new and emerging technologies and incorporating continuous learning, technology transfer and adoption of new and leading practices. (close)
  9. Adaptive
    demonstrating adaptive attitudes, structures and processes that enable a living, evolving and sustainable practice. (close)