Reducing future flood losses the role of human actions
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Reducing Future Flood Losses The Role of Human Actions. Facing the 21 st Century Flood Challenge: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? A Disasters Roundtable The National Academies Washington, DC March 2, 2004 Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., PE, PhD Titan Corporation.

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Reducing Future Flood Losses The Role of Human Actions

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Reducing future flood losses the role of human actions

Reducing Future Flood LossesThe Role of Human Actions

Facing the 21st Century Flood Challenge: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

A Disasters Roundtable

The National Academies

Washington, DC

March 2, 2004

Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., PE, PhD

Titan Corporation


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Floods Have been Around for a Long Time


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Floods Were Part of Early North American History


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And More Recent US History

Greenville

Johnstown

Lowell

Pittsburgh


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And People Tried to Deal wit the Flood Challenge


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Congress Set the Policy

  • Flood Control Act of 1928- Lower Mississippi Valley

  • Flood Control Act of 1936 - The Nation

    • …destructive floods upon the rivers...constitute a menace to national welfare; it is the sense of Congress that flood control is a proper activity of the Federal Government

    • … the Federal Government should improve or participate in improvements,,,for flood control purposes if the benefits to whomsover they accrue are in excess of the estimated costs...


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Engineered Structures Have Provided Protection to Millions


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While Some Thought of Other Approaches

John Kennedy

Gilbert White

Jim Goddard


And legislated programs

And Legislated Programs

Disaster Relief

Flood Insurance

Unified National Program


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But Flood Damages Continue to Grow -

And Many Blame the Engineering

St. Louis, 1993

Grand Forks, ND, 1997

LaCrosse, WI, 2001


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Upland and Floodplain Development Has Substantially Altered the Natural Environment


Miss and red fllods

Miss and Red Fllods


Telling it like it is

Telling It Like It Is

  • UNP Assessment

  • Sharing the Challenge

  • USACE Flood Assessment

  • California Governor’s Task Force

  • Western Water Policy

  • Higher Ground

  • Living with the Red

  • What Happened?

  • How Prevent Similar Floods?


Big floods

Big Floods

  • Major Floods Have Been Significant Hydrometeorologic Events


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  • Major Floods Will Continue to Occur


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People and Property Are at Risk in the Floodplain

  • Most Floodplain Residents Don’t Understand the Risk

    • 14% of Non-Federal Land in Contiguous 48 States is in 100 Yr. Floodplain

    • >17,000 Communities Have Floodprone Areas

    • Flash Floods Occur in All 50 States

  • Many Structures Unnecessarily Located in Floodplain


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  • ….and It Isn’t Going to Get Any Better

    • Increased Development/Growth

    • Climate Change/Climate Variability

    • Uncertainty


There are no silver bullets

There Are No Silver Bullets


The goals

The Goals

  • Reduce Flood Damages

  • Protect and Enhance the Natural Environment

  • Continue Growth

Sustainable Development


What needs to be done

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

  • Share Responsibility and Costs for Floodplain Management Among Federal, State, and Local Governments and Impacted Populace


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  • Avoid Use of Floodplain: Don't Develop When You Don't Need To


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  • Minimize Damages to Development that Does Occur and Has Occurred

    • Hold the Water Where It Falls


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  • Minimize Damages to Development that Does Occur and Has Occurred

    • Floodproof


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  • Minimize Damages to Development that Does Occur and Has Occurred

    • Relocate Endangered Structures

    • Acquire Marginal Lands


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  • Minimize Damages to Development that Does Occur and Has Occurred

    • Use Levees/Floodwalls, When Justified


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  • Mitigate Damages that Will Occur

    • Establish Early Warning Systems

    • Insure Those at Risk

    • Educate Present and Potential Floodplain Occupants


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  • Deal with the River Basin as an Ecosystem

  • Concurrently Restore, Maintain and Enhance the Natural Environment


Since 1993

Since 1993

Greater National Awareness of Flood Threat


Since 19931

Since 1993

State and Local Attention to Floodplain Management


Since 1993 more comprehensive planning

Since 1993 More Comprehensive Planning


Since 19932

Since 1993

Relocations and Land Acquisitions


Since 19933

Since 1993

Increased Attention to Natural Resources

  • National Focus on Watersheds

  • Farm Conservation Programs


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Since 1993

Growth in Use of Technology


Challenges

Challenges

  • Improving NFIP

    • Repetitive Damages

    • Coastal Properties

    • Timely Mapping

    • 100 Year Flood

NFIP Review Underway


Challenges1

Challenges

  • Developing a National Water Policy

  • Coordinating Federal Activities -Eliminating Turf and Bureaucracy

  • Supporting Comprehensive Planning

  • Building Public and Public Official Understanding and Interest

  • Eliminating Bias in Federal Procedures


Challenges2

Challenges

  • Working Together (Governments – Business - NGO’s – Public)

    • Avoiding Name Calling

    • Collaborating vs. Coordinating


Challenges3

Challenges

  • Capitalizing on Technology

    • Mapping and GIS

    • Decision Support Systems -Analysis

    • Information and Data Sharing

    • Education and Outreach

  • Linking to Other Systems


Challenges4

Challenges

Addressing Policies that:

  • Promote intensification in risk areas

  • Ignore changing conditions

  • Ignore adverse impacts to existing properties

  • Undervalue natural floodplain functions


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Water Resources Professionals Must Continue to be Involved

  • Educationally

  • Technically

  • Politically/Institutionally


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We Can Make the Difference!


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W


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Thank You


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