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New report offers recommendations for applying Climate-Informed Science Approach to federal building projects

MADISON, Wis. - Aug. 9, 2016 - EntSun -- Flood risk in the nation is changing, increasing in intensity, frequency and cost. And flood risk professionals, who once relied on historical data to gauge future conditions, can no longer rely on that information to determine land use and infrastructure decisions.

President Obama recognized federal projects (taxpayer funded) must plan for future risks and on Jan. 30, 2015 issued an Executive Order, which established a new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.

This "higher standard" required projects to apply one of the three following approaches:

Climate-informed Science Approach (CISA) – Use data and methods informed by best-available, actionable climate science.

Freeboard Value Approach – Build 2 feet above the 100-year (1%-annual-chance) flood elevation for standard projects, and 3 feet above for critical buildings like hospitals and evacuation centers.
"500-year" Elevation Approach – Build to the 500-year (0.2%-annual-chance) flood elevation.

The problems for scientists, engineers, policymakers and flood risk professionals are: What exactly does CISA really mean? And how is it supposed to be applied and implemented in the real world?

The Association of State Floodplain Managers Foundation gathered 100 experts from government, non-profit organizations, academia and the corporate sector to look at the opportunities and challenges of CISA last September at its 5th Gilbert F. White National Flood Policy Forum in D.C.

The recently released report prompted by the forum, "Meeting the Challenge of Change: Implementing the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Climate-Informed Science Approach," concludes that, in many cases, use of an approach based on climate-informed science will provide better risk estimation and planning outcomes than other "one size fits all" options such as building to the current 500-year flood standard or applying extra freeboard for construction. The report also explores ways floodplain management is meeting the challenge of managing future flood risk, summarizes key provisions of the Executive Order, and makes a number of specific recommendations aimed at resolving policy issues, building cooperation and collaboration, and identifying, communicating and mitigating future risk.
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In 1996, the Association of State Floodplain Managers established a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit foundation to be an incubator for research and education that promotes wise floodplain management.

For an interview to discuss the report, contact ASFPM Foundation President Doug Plasencia at dplasencia@mbakerintl.com, or cell: (602) 568-6966.

View a presentation on YouTube by Plasencia and University of Maryland Engineering Professor Dr. Gerald Galloway explaining the report.



If you would like a hard copy of "Meeting the Challenge of Change" report, please contact Michele Mihalovich, ASFPM public information officer, at michele@floods.org.

Media Contact
608-828-3000
***@floods.org


Source: ASFPM Foundation

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