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Floodplain Management: A New Approach For A New Era

A flooding river is very hard to stop. Many residents of the United States have discovered this the hard way. Right now, over five million Americans hold flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program, which estimates that flooding causes at least six billion dollars in damages every year. Like rivers after a rainstorm, the financial costs are rising along with the toll on residents. And the worst is probably yet to come. Most scientists believe that global climate change will result in increases in flooding. The authors of this book present a straightforward argument: the time to stop a flooding rivers is before is before it floods. Floodplain Management outlines a new paradigm for flood management, one that emphasizes cost-effective, long-term success by integrating physical, chemical, and biological systems with our societal capabilities. It describes our present flood management practices, which are often based on dam or levee projects that do not incorporate the latest understandings about river processes. And it suggests that a better solution is to work with the natural tendencies of the river: retreat from the floodplain by preventing future development (and sometimes even removing existing structures); accommodate the effects of floodwaters with building practices; and protect assets with nonstructural measures if possible, and with large structural projects only if absolutely necessary.

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Island Press; 2 edition (September 9, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1597266353

ISBN-13: 978-1597266352

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #93 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Groundwater & Flood Control #1671 in Books > Arts & Photography > Architecture > Urban & Land Use Planning #2281 in Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Environmental Studies

This book provides a systematic approach to floodplain management, including the right questions to ask, and how to stay appropriate to scale, consider a mix of options, and include everyone fairly, and consider risk, while realistically facing budget limitations. A wide variety of tools are discussed, such as traditional engineered devices like dams and levies, natural systems such as wetlands or meandering river configurations that hold more water, and strategies such as retreat from floodplains. These tools are so different in character that it can be difficult to consider them together. The great thing about the process proposed in this book is that it provides a way to do that. Case studies illustrate how to use systematic steps to pick from these tools, and combine them, to create good solutions for unique circumstances. There is even a chapter on the I-5 floods in the Chehalis River basin in the state of Washington. I recommend this book to anyone making decisions about floodplain management. This book is very technical, and not light reading, but written to be accessible even if you are not an engineer or hydrologist.

An important presentation on enlightened thought about and practice of floodplain management and flood control. Wise and sensible.

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