The Corps of Engineers' flood and coastal storm damage reduction mission is to provide safe and reliable projects that reduce economic and environmental damages, and prevent loss of life from both inland flooding and coastal storms. The Corps maintains over 8,500 miles of levees, nearly 100 shore protection projects, and operates 383 major lakes and reservoirs to reduce flood damages. Even with these completed projects and flood protection infrastructure, the nation averages over $4 billion in flood damages annually.
The overall objectives of the Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Program are to develop new flood and coastal storm damage reduction technologies to enhance the effectiveness of projects, develop innovative techniques to reduce flood and coastal storm damages, and allow the integration of analysis tools to accelerate the study and design process for inland flood damage reduction and coastal shore protection. Engineering tools, computer models, and design guidance are being developed for flood and storm damage analysis, channel restoration evaluations, improvements in ice engineering, and evaluation and improvement of multi-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling.
Technologies must be continually advanced for inland flood protection, coastal storm protection, beach nourishment, and the unique flood damage reduction demands of urbanized settings, to ensure that each project is sustainable. In the inland area, there is a shifting focus for new projects from large flood damage reduction projects towards watershed management and smaller flood damage reduction systems. This requires an emphasis on the development of appropriate design guidance and planning and engineering technology to accelerate the process of restoring channels in a more cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. The sedimentation response of flood-control channels, bank protection methods for flood-control and navigation channels, ice impacts on flood-control and navigation channels and structures, and impacts of climate change on hydrologic events must be addressed.
The implementation of risk analysis in the planning of Corps projects has allowed a quantitative evaluation of the benefits and costs associated with different levels of protection. Future flood damage reduction projects in urbanized inland and coastal areas will require innovative planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and emergency response methods to provide adequate protection for current and projected growth. As new and innovative technologies and methodologies are developed, it will be critical to transfer information about these innovations to the Corps Districts, other Federal, state, and local agencies, and to the public as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For more information, visit the Flood Risk Management sections of the Water Resources Depot, https://swwrp.usace.army.mil.