Approved by the Energy, Environment, and Water Policy Committee on March 3, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on June 9, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports:
- Continued and expanded long-term weather data collection programs utilizing the latest generation of weather surveillance tools and technologies across all levels of government.
- Continued funding to allow for the prediction of the location, intensity, and frequency of weather events.
- Continued development of computer models and programs that are used to interpret weather surveillance information.
- Special emphasis placed on identifying weather trends related to the changing climate.
- Improved access to weather data collection programs for all agencies and the general public.
Engineers use weather data for many reasons, including research, planning and design of sustainable, resilient infrastructure, and development of engineering standards. The history of accurate weather data collection is relatively short, and a changing climate with more extreme weather events increases the need for more complete and accurate weather data. Federal and state governments provide the best source of continued advancement in technology and long-term data collection and management.
Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and closure of physical infrastructure. These would include buildings of all types, communication facilities, energy generation and distribution, industrial facilities, transportation of all modes, water resource facilities, urban water systems, and flood control. Design, construction, and long-term maintenance of this infrastructure relies on accurate weather data so that it remains functional, durable, and safe for long service lives, typically 50 to more than 100 years. Robust and accessible data is a key ingredient for design load calculations for resilient infrastructure as well as disaster preparedness. In addition, new technology provides civil engineers with real-time weather data to produce spatial and temporal estimates. Long-term, continuous data collection and reporting allows for better understanding of weather impacts and more resilient and sustainable infrastructure.
ASCE Policy Statement 409
First Approved in 1993