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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

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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And More Recent US History

Greenville

Johnstown

Lowell

Pittsburgh



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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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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 Substantially Altered the Natural Environment


Telling it like it is
Telling It Like It Is Substantially Altered the Natural Environment

  • 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 Substantially Altered the Natural Environment

  • Major Floods Have Been Significant Hydrometeorologic Events


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People and Property Are at Risk in the Floodplain Substantially Altered the Natural Environment

  • 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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There are no silver bullets
There Are No Silver Bullets Substantially Altered the Natural Environment


The goals
The Goals Substantially Altered the Natural Environment

  • Reduce Flood Damages

  • Protect and Enhance the Natural Environment

  • Continue Growth

Sustainable Development


What needs to be done
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE Substantially Altered the Natural Environment

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



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Since 1993
Since 1993 Occurred

Greater National Awareness of Flood Threat


Since 19931
Since 1993 Occurred

State and Local Attention to Floodplain Management


Since 1993 more comprehensive planning
Since 1993 OccurredMore Comprehensive Planning


Since 19932
Since 1993 Occurred

Relocations and Land Acquisitions


Since 19933
Since 1993 Occurred

Increased Attention to Natural Resources

  • National Focus on Watersheds

  • Farm Conservation Programs


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Since 1993 Occurred

Growth in Use of Technology


Challenges
Challenges Occurred

  • Improving NFIP

    • Repetitive Damages

    • Coastal Properties

    • Timely Mapping

    • 100 Year Flood

NFIP Review Underway


Challenges1
Challenges Occurred

  • 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 Occurred

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

    • Avoiding Name Calling

    • Collaborating vs. Coordinating


Challenges3
Challenges Occurred

  • Capitalizing on Technology

    • Mapping and GIS

    • Decision Support Systems -Analysis

    • Information and Data Sharing

    • Education and Outreach

  • Linking to Other Systems


Challenges4
Challenges Occurred

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 Occurred

  • Educationally

  • Technically

  • Politically/Institutionally



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W Occurred


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Thank You Occurred