Event Detail

ASCE October Meeting – The Impact of Climate Change on the Ohio River Basin

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm

The ASCE Cincinnati Section held the October meeting on Thursday, October 17, 2019. The meeting included dinner and a presentation on the Impact of Climate Change on the Ohio River Basin.   The meeting was held at The Kleingers Group Office in West Chester, Ohio. 

We often hear in the media how climate change will impact the coastal states, but how will it affect us in the Ohio River Basin and specifically, here in the Cincinnati area?  A recent study by over 20 federal and state governments, conservation agencies, academic institutions, non-profits and consultants, and led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), was the first comprehensive study to evaluate the impacts of climate change on the Ohio River Basin’s water resources infrastructure and its ecosystem.  The report issued from the study identified impacts that climate change may have on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and in operating the basin’s water resources infrastructure.  In addition, the report’s findings present potential mitigation and adaptation strategies that could be implemented to minimize the anticipated impacts of a changing climate.

The presentation provided the background for the study, the agencies involved, the modeling process, the forecasted changes in the Ohio River Basin’s rainfall and temperature through 2099, and most importantly, how these changes may impact the basin’s ecosystem and infrastructure.

The presentation was given by Mark Kessinger.  Mr. Kessinger is the Vice President for Water Resources and Dam Safety for DLZ National.  DLZ is a full service Architectural-Engineering firm headquartered in Columbus.  He started with DLZ in 2015, after a 33-year career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He had a well-rounded career with the Corps and worked in the Huntington District in Huntington, WV, the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division here in Cincinnati, and at the Corps’ Headquarters in Washington, DC.  While in Huntington he served as the Corps’ Liaison to the State of Ohio, so he was heavily involved in water resource issues affecting Ohio.  At the end of his career he was the Corps’ Project Manager for a the only major study conducted to date on the possible impacts of climate change on the Ohio River Basin, and that is what we’ll be hearing about tonight.   Mr. Kessinger graduated from West Virginia University with a BS in Civil Engineering and earned a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Marshall University.  He is an avid college football fan, and he and his wife, Renee, have twin 21-year-old sons