Thursday, January 9, 2014

Flood Adaptation Policy in Williamson County: Understanding of how 5 year, 50 year and 100 Year Flood Policies Shape Urban Development

Brandee Knight, Environmental Studies Program

Current flood policy, the National Flood Insurance Program, in the United States has led to the cycle of destruction and rebuilding in high risk flooding areas. By providing financial protection for over 5.5 million homes built in moderate risk flood zones every year the government pays citizens to rebuild on the same land and continue the cycle. An alternative solution of ‘payout’ is presented, where local governments use funds and eminent domain to acquire properties in the danger zones. Using ESRI ArcMap software a land parcel model is developed to estimate the total expenditures then used in the analysis of the ‘payout’ option versus the status quo. If implemented, the moderate risk areas would leave ‘room for the river’ to behave in natural floodplain inundations, thus protecting as well as nature.

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