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Risk Analysis and Uncertainty in Flood Damage Reduction Studies

National Academies Press (NAP)

Paperback | Sep 2000 | #122240 | ISBN: 0309071364
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About this book

Reducing flood damage is a complex task that requires multidisciplinary understanding of the earth sciences and civil engineering. In addressing this task the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employs its expertise in hydrology, hydraulics, and geotechnical and structural engineering. Dams, levees, and other river-training works must be sized to local conditions; geotechnical theories and applications help ensure that structures will safely withstand potential hydraulic and seismic forces; and economic considerations must be balanced to ensure that reductions in flood damages are proportionate with project costs and associated impacts on social, economic, and environmental values. A new National Research Council report, "Risk Analysis and Uncertainty in Flood Damage Reduction Studies", reviews the Corps of Engineers' risk-based techniques in its flood damage reduction studies and makes recommendations for improving these techniques. Areas in which the Corps has made good progress are noted, and several steps that could improve the Corps' risk-based techniques in engineering and economics applications for flood damage reduction are identified. The report also includes recommendations for improving the federal levee certification program, for broadening the scope of flood damage reduction planning, and for improving communication of risk-based concepts.


Executive Summary; The Corps and U.S. Flood Damage Reduction Planning, Policies, and Programs; Risk Analysis Approach; The Corp's Water Resource Project Planning Procedures; U.S. Federal Flood Preparedness, Mitigation, and Response Activities; Decision Making and Communication Issues; The Goal of Floodplain Management; Multiple Objectives; Comparing Project Alternatives; Floodplain Management Alternatives; Risk Communication; Risk Analysis Concepts and Terms; Uncertainty; Consistency Across Project Areas; Risk Analysis Decision Making; Risk Analysis Techniques; Corps Framework; Natural Variability and Imperfect Knowledge; Risk Analysis; Monte Carlo Simulation; Assessment of Engineering Performance; Case Studies; Beargrass Creek; Red River of the North at East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota; Evaluation and Proposed Improvements; Concerns with the Risk Analysis Methods; Engineering Performance; Hydrologic Analysis; Geotechnical Realiability; Economic Performance; Interdependence in Risk Analysis for Flood Damage Assessment; Correlation Length; Spatial Aggregation; Computational Alternatives to Minimize Correlation Effects; Levee Certification; History of Levee Certification; Current Certification Criterion; Analysis of Levee Sizing Criteria; Technical Corrections to the Current Certification Procedure; An Alternative Criterion: A Longer-Term Change; Conclusions and Recommendations; Risk Analysis Techniques; Consistent Terminology Levee Certification; Floodplain Management; References; Appendixes; A Glossary; B Corps-FEMA Levee Certification Documentation; C Economic and Environmental Principles for Water Related Land Resources Implementation Studies; D Functions of Random Variables; E Biographical Information

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Committee on Risk-Based Analysis for Flood Damage Reduction, Water Science and Technology Board, National Research Council

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