of the IPET and Corps of Engineers was of a high order and greatly facilitated the meeting discussions. Invited speakers provided informative presentations and perspectives that were invaluable to the committee’s work. The many citizens and representatives from New Orleans neighborhoods and businesses, and various city- and state-level groups, provided unique insights on technical issues and the context in which these issues were being applied.

This NAE/NRC committee issued four reports from 2006-2008, which are summarized in Box 1-1. This following report is the committee’s fifth and final report. As directed in the committee’s statement of task (Appendix A), it represents a review of the IPET draft final report (dated June 1, 2008), and the committee’s reflections on the lessons learned from the Hurricane Katrina experience and ways in which the hurricane protection system performance might be improved. Over the course of the IPET project, many of the committee’s recommendations led to constructive improvements in the IPET reports.

BOX 1-1

Previous Four Reports from the NAE/NRC Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects

First report—February 2006

This report (NRC, 2006a) reviewed the IPET first report, which was issued in January 2006. It recommended that the IPET place a stronger emphasis on systems-level evaluation and presentation in many aspects of studies. It recommended that the IPET use more maps in its evaluations and findings, and that the IPET should make greater use of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The report included multiple recommendations for more thorough data gathering and testing of soil properties across the system. It also recommended that the IPET adopt an ensemble approach—reflecting a range of possible storms and storm surges—in its hurricane modeling exercises. The report also recommended that the IPET better characterize levels of confidence in the accuracy of the data that were being gathered and used in its various analyses.


Second report—June 2006

This report (NRC, 2006b) reviewed the IPET second report, which was issued in March 2006. The report noted that although Task Force Guardian—the group responsible for repairs to the hurricane protection system—was making progress in repairing damaged structures, that the second report did not reflect well the remaining hydrologic risks to the system. It recommended that the concepts of authorized level of protection and standard project hurricane be better



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