The committee recommends the establishment of a new interagency effort for flood risk assessment and management. The impetus for such action is clear: rising property damages and loss of life; 30 years of experience with the National Flood Insurance Program; aging federal policy and technical guidance; improvements in scientific methods of computing and modeling; emergence of understanding of paleohydrologic and climate variability issues; and a growing data base and availability of information. Virtually all these issues have arisen in the Sacramento case, and can be expected to arise in others as well.

The committee proposes that this interagency effort should emphasize research focused on coordinated and cooperative flood risk reduction, including meteorologic, hydrologic, hydraulic, and policy and socio-economic aspects of flood management. In Chapter 5, a number of specific issues that should be addressed in the recommended interagency effort are discussed.

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