this with emergency response systems including the development of post-disaster sheltering and redevelopment plans and the exercising of floodplain evacuation plans on a regular basis. Dealing with flooding in the Central Valley will require a close examination of existing governmental institutions and how they work together. The lessons learned from the New Orleans disaster point out the disconnects that develop when too many agencies are involved in the decision-making process and no one agency has overall direction. Large flood events exploit those disconnects. California must address this difficult issue, especially in terms of the large number of overlapping roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of reclamation districts, and state and local governments. Without reforming the institutions that manage flood protection, large investments in infrastructure are likely to be wasted.

Hurricane Protection System Peer Review (Battelle, 2007)

USACE should seek Administration support for and Congressional approval to:

• Develop a single authorization for the HPS similar to that provided for the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) project.

• Authorize flexibility for reprogramming.

• Ensure multi-year or timely appropriations; recognize the consequences of delays.

• Provide expedited review of issues.

• Ensure close cooperation with local governments and understanding of the problems associated with lack of cooperation

Nonstructural elements should become an equal partner in completion of the HPS. USACE should receive increased funding to carry out programs of nonstructural technical assistance for communities and proactively provide technical assistance to FEMA and local authorities with respect to elevating structures, floodproofing, planning for interior drainage, and other flood management considerations. This is especially the case for interior polderization of protected areas which could reduce the spatial extent of flood risk.

TFH should work closely with local officials on full implementation of effective floodplain management and enforce that provision of Section 402 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 requiring development of local floodplain management plans. There is a clear opportunity for USACE to provide needed technical assistance, so that rebuilding occurs in a manner that minimizes the potential for future flood dam-age to public buildings and infrastructure and private homes and businesses.

USACE should provide maps of residual risk for early distribution to residents and officials. Risk communication maps should be accompanied with information on personal mitigation measures to include flood avoidance, financial protection, and life-safety concerns. USACE must ensure that residents and officials understand the residual risk and the level of protection that is actually being provided.

Given the experience and the strategies the Japanese and Dutch use for protection, TFH should consider establishment of a centralized planning and inspection capability for O&M. Fragmented planning efforts provide significant opportunities for system disconnects and potential failures.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement