Philippine Flood Management Knowledge Sharing Forum

Flood Risk Management: Recent US Experiences and Lessons Learned
December 4-5, 2012 Manila

Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., PE, PhD
Water Policy Collaborative, University of Maryland gegallo@umd.edu
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.

The Bottom Line – US Lessons Learned
1. 2. 3. 4. Absolute protection from floods is not possible - plan for exceedence Cannot not rely on single structural approach - implement a portfolio of measures Risks must be identified and decisions made based on relative risk –everyone will not get same protection Decisions must be made with imperfect knowledge - the future will be different from the past

5. 6.
7.

Responsibilities must be clear; must have clear leadership but all groups must share responsibilities and take local actions Life-cycle infrastructure needs and costs must be addressed at national and local level
Effective communication of risk is essential

Floods Have Been Part of North American History

And People Tried to Deal with the Flood Challenge

The Mississippi Basin Drains 41% of the Contiguous United States
Missouri

Mississippi River Basin 3.1 million km2 32% of total US farm acreage

Ohio

Mississippi River Length - 3730 km Average flow – 12,700,000 m3/s Max Flow -85,000 m3/s

Mississippi

Levees Became the Way of Life – “Levees Only”

A Major Flood Occurred in 1927 and Gained National Attention

And More Recent US History

The 12 Month Solution:
Federal Project -Levees, Floodways, Storage, River training, Dredging, Dikes, Dams

Mississippi River Commission in Charge Navigation, Flood Control, Environmental protection

Miss aerial (memphis)

Jeff Roberson/AP

UPPER MISSISSIPPI

100,000
ST. LOUIS

Project Design Flood

150,000

New Madrid Floodway
550,000

CAIRO

LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER

NEW MADRID

RIVER

MEMPHIS

HELENA

400,000

CITY

2,890,000

ARKANSAS

540,000

Plan: 85,000 cms
GREENVILLE
VICKSBURG

West Atchafalaya
1,500,000

2011: 70,000 cms
Bonnet Carré Spillway
LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

250,000

1,500,000

Floodway

NATCHEZ Old River 30 / 70 Split 620,000

Lower Atchafalaya Floodway

1,060,000

MORGAN CITY

1,250,000

Wax Lake Outlet

ATCHAFALAYA RIVER

Morganza Floodway

600,000

BATON ROUGE

250,000 NEW ORLEANS

Birds Point-New Madrid Area April 29, 2011

Birds PointNew Madrid Floodway
538 square km impacted by floodway 10,100 square km protected by floodway

UPPER MISSISSIPPI

100,000
ST. LOUIS

Project Design Flood

150,000

New Madrid Floodway
550,000

CAIRO

LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER

NEW MADRID

RIVER

MEMPHIS

HELENA

400,000

CITY

2,890,000

ARKANSAS

540,000

GREENVILLE

West Atchafalaya
1,500,000

VICKSBURG

250,000

1,500,000

Floodway

NATCHEZ Old River 30 / 70 Split 620,000

Lower Atchafalaya Floodway

1,060,000

MORGAN CITY

1,250,000

Wax Lake Outlet

ATCHAFALAYA RIVER

Morganza Floodway

600,000

BATON ROUGE

Bonnet Carré Spillway
LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

250,000 NEW ORLEANS

(68,000 km2) (26,300 km2)

(40,500 km2)

Lessons Learned
• The System performed as designed but work is needed to repair, rebuild, complete and reinvest in the infrastructure

• The Nation avoided damages in the 2011 flood of more than $50 billion • The $13.9B invested in the System has prevented over $350 Billion in damages – a 34-1 return on investment • 547,000 acres was used for floodways and backwater storage. The issue of floodways and off-river storage is politically sensitive. • Communications are critical
BUILDING STRONG®

Missouri River Basin
1.3 million km2

Missouri River
3,767 km Max flow 21,000 m3/s

10 Million acre feet = 12,300 Million cubic meters

= 73,800 MM3

Missouri River Basin - Annual Runoff above Sioux City, Iowa
1 Maf = 1233 Mm3

.2% .2%/97 1%/97 1881 Flood = Design Criteria 1%

20,000 MM3

The Dam System performed as designed. It serves (8) multiple purposes and therefore cannot capably handle the most extreme of flood events

Lessons Learned

• Passing a major flood is expensive. Funds are needed to repair, rebuild, and reinvest in the infrastructure

• Must organize around a common vision and with true purpose and acceptance of shared responsibility and clear governance
• There is a lack of public understanding of how floods are handled and personal responsibilities in handling • Flood risk can be mitigated beyond creating more space in the existing Dam System –designating floodways, establishing flood corridor easements - structural and non-structural
BUILDING STRONG®

Dam Operation Review
• Operators must follow manuals • Operators must try to meet needs; early release may harm future needs • Operators must always protect structures • Do not see how significant changes could be made without longer term forecasting

http://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/docs/MRIndependentReviewPanel.pdf

Lessons Learned - Mississippi vs Missouri
• Governance: • On the Mississippi, one agency (MRC) has primary responsibility for management of the flood and was able to exercise authority

• On the Missouri, the responsibilities are divided among many agencies
• System • Since 1927, the Lower Mississippi River has been addressed as a single funding unit with flexibility in operation and integrated approach • The Missouri operates for fiscal and politcal purposes as a series of unconnected parts.

What is USA Doing to Deal with Floods?

Katrina -2005

$120B Damages

Failed Levees

Failed Levees

From Living with Floods to Flood Control to Managing Risk
A willingness to live with floods
•Individual and small communities adapt to the natures rhythm.

A desire to utilise the floodplain
•Fertile land in floodplain is drained for food production. •Permanent communities are established on the floodplain.

A need to control floods
•Large scale structural approaches are implemented through organised governance.

A need to reduce flood damages
•A recognition that engineering alone has limitations. •Effort is devoted to increasing the resilience of communities should a flood occur.

A need to manage risk
•A recognition that not all problems are equal. •Risk management is seen as an effective and efficient means to maximise the benefit of limited investment.

From Sayers et al , 2012

Risk = f ( (p) Hazard * (p) Consequences))

Identify risks and make decisions based on relative risk – recognize not all will get the same protection

Reducing Risk
Initial Risk Zoning
Local

Absolute protection from floods is not possible – must plan for exceedence (Residual Risk) Cannot rely on single structural approach - implement a portfolio of measures


State, Local

Building Codes

Risk Communication

Federal, State, Local Federal, State, Local, Individual Insurance Individual Federal, State, Local Federal, State, Local

Evacuation Plans

Risk

Natural Storage

Non-Structural (Floodproofing, Elevation, etc)

Structural (Levees, Dams, Floodways)

Federal, State, Local

Residual Risk Identify risks and make decisions based on relative risk – recognize not all will get the same protection
Modified from USACE

Recognise that decisions must be made with imperfect knowledge and that the future will be different from the past

Climate Change and Development

49

Life-cycle Infrastructure Requires Support
160,000 KM of Levees Overall Condition = DUpdate Cost= $50B

84,000 Dams Overall Condition = D Update Cost= $50B

The Bottom Line – US Lessons Learned
1. 2. 3. 4. Absolute protection from floods is not possible - plan for exceedence Cannot not rely on single structural approach - implement a portfolio of measures Risks must be identified and decisions made based on relative risk –everyone will not get same protection Decisions must be made with imperfect knowledge - the future will be different from the past

5. 6.
7.

Responsibilities must be clear; must have clear leadership but all groups must share responsibilities and take local actions Life-cycle infrastructure needs and costs must be addressed at national and local level
Effective communication of risk is essential

The Memory of a Flood Is Very Short

53

Thank You Thank You for Your Attention

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