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Ben Chou, Water Policy Analyst, Santa Monica, California

Ben Chou
My interest in protecting the environment all began with an environmental studies course during high school. I should have trusted my instincts, but instead, I began college as a business major after succumbing to parental pressure to pick a field that would pay well after graduation. After spending my freshman year studying economics and financial accounting, I quickly reversed course (much to my parents’ dismay) and majored in geography and followed that with a graduate degree in climate and society. I feel incredibly fortunate to be at NRDC where I get to pursue work that combines my education and personal interest in climate change—and get paid for it to boot.

Recent Posts

New Guidelines Will Help Make Water Infrastructure Projects More Resilient

Posted January 27, 2016 by Ben Chou

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The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) made several changes to the federal statute governing the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a funding program that has provided a total of more than $105 billion for a...continued

As Nation's Flood Risks Grow, Protecting Wetlands Is More Important Than Ever

Posted January 25, 2016 by Ben Chou

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Many neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. have seen firsthand the impact of escalating flood risks in recent years. In just the past year, catastrophic flood events occurred in Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois, to name just a...continued

Another Year of Record-Breaking Weather Extremes Shows Why We Must Be Prepared

Posted January 7, 2016 by Ben Chou

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It's official, folks. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)--the official government agency in charge of weather and climate forecasts and records, among many other duties--has announced that 2015 was officially the second hottest year on record for the U.S....continued

New Report Shows That Healthy Soils Can Help in the Fight Against Climate Change

Posted November 19, 2015 by Ben Chou

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Lots of attention is being paid to climate solutions in the lead up to Paris, but one big potential solution often gets ignored even though it's been right under our feet all along--soil! When you think about the most important...continued

After South Carolina Floods, We Must Act to Prevent Similar Disasters

Posted October 8, 2015 by Ben Chou

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Having spent more than half my life living in South Carolina, I stared in disbelief at the video and images of submerged cars and homes, washed out streets, and rescues by boat that were broadcast on TV, the internet, and...continued

There's Still Time for the California Energy Commission to Fix the Drought Rebate Program

Posted October 7, 2015 by Ben Chou

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In the flurry of bills that were passed before the California Legislature adjourned for the year, one critical program was overlooked--the California Energy Commission's recently proposed clothes washer replacement rebate program, which would have provided a $100 rebate to households...continued

Water and Wastewater Systems Are Still At-Risk 10 Years after Katrina

Posted August 27, 2015 by Ben Chou

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It's hard to believe that ten years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast. I will always vividly remember that week in late August 2005. I was finishing my final semester in college and was taking...continued

Will El Niño Save California from the Drought?

Posted August 6, 2015 by Ben Chou

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As California's drought stretches well into a fourth year, there has been no shortage of news stories suggesting that stronger El Niño conditions expected later this year might help end the drought. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just...continued

What a load of...drought relief?

Posted May 12, 2015 by Ben Chou

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In California, we are well into our fourth consecutive year of bone dry and record hot conditions. This year-to-date is the hottest in recorded history--a sweltering 6.3 degrees above the 20th century average. And more than 98 percent of the...continued

California Snowpack Will Set New Dismal Record

Posted March 31, 2015 by Ben Chou

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California likes to be the first at a lot of things and in the process, pave the way for other states. We're continuing to break records this year--but not in ways we want. It's been a warm, record-breaking winter for...continued

New Jersey Water Infrastructure Funds: An Opportunity to Make Communities More Resilient

Posted October 9, 2014 by Ben Chou

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With images of flooding, drought, storms, and other extreme weather appearing in the headlines more frequently, it’s clear that the effects of climate change already are being felt in neighborhoods, communities, and cities across the U.S. In recognition of the...continued

New York's Underused Water Infrastructure Funds Can Support Climate Resiliency

Posted July 31, 2014 by Ben Chou

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Despite the nearly two years that have passed since Hurricane Sandy came onshore and caused unprecedented damage across the Northeast, many communities are still in the process of rebuilding. To help communities repair facilities and prevent damages associated with future...continued

Building Climate-Resilient Communities with State Revolving Funds

Posted July 23, 2014 by Ben Chou

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Water and wastewater infrastructure systems play a vital role in our daily lives. Without these critical systems, life as we know it would not be possible. Yet much of this infrastructure is outdated, under-maintained, and in desperate need of repair....continued

Obama Administration Recognizes the Climate-Resiliency Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Posted July 16, 2014 by Ben Chou

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As we‘ve seen play out repeatedly in communities across the U.S., the impacts of climate change are already here. Multiple wildfires are currently burning in Western states, California’s drought is only intensifying, and extreme storms have caused flooding and heavy...continued

More Efficient Clothes Washers Benefit Businesses and Conserve Resources

Posted June 6, 2014 by Ben Chou

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This post was written in conjunction with Kaylee Weatherly and Brianna Pagan of the Long Beach Water Department and is also posted on LaundryDealer.com. Record-breaking drought conditions in California and ongoing concerns over increasingly scarce water supplies have made headlines across the...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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