Efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Usace) to Characterize National Flood Risk (PAP014379)
Elizabeth Bourget, Jeffrey D. Jensen
Land use and Floods, landslides and erosion
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is investigating ways to characterize the nation's flood risks in order to highlight priority areas nationally and regionally and to identify effective approaches to manage the nation's flood risk, both internally and in partnership with others. Specifically, USACE is developing tools to integrate and display components of flood risk from a variety of sources, identify its contributions to flood risk reduction, frame its projects within a broader and watershed-based context, and identify potential areas of concern in the future. Flood risk components address the flood hazard (e.g., extent of flood hazard as shown on digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps, approximate extent of flood hazard for specific probability floods determined via nationwide estimation algorithms, approximate extent of projected future flood hazards for specific probability floods, number of historical Federally-declared flood disasters) and exposure and vulnerability to that hazard (e.g., population, number and type of buildings, value of buildings, critical infrastructure, projected population growth, repetitive loss flood insurance claims density, demographic social vulnerability). Geospatial and assessment tools allow quick visualization of the relative scale of each component or a combination of components, providing a general sense through varying perspectives of national and regional flood risk; allowing comparisons to national or regional norms; enabling summation of varying exposures for watersheds, political jurisdictions, and nationally; and highlighting potential opportunities for flood risk reduction. Continued development and coordination is anticipated to refine the tools and make them and their results more widely available.