Oregon State University

Flood management

Experts (Gleick 2003, Brooks et al. 2009, Opperman 2014) are calling for decreased reliance on centralized, structural approaches to flood risk management, such as dams and levees, that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated by the federal government. Instead, they suggest that responsibility of reducing flood risk should be shared amongst the federal government, local communities, and individuals (Riley 2014) within coordinated and flexible flood management systems (DiFrancesco and Tullos 2014). A key component of this transition is a shift from practices that reduce the likelihood of flooding, which is the key function of traditionalstructural flood management practices. Instead, it is recommended that flood managers emphasize practices that reduce the exposure of people and infrastructure to floods, considered non-structural (NS) flood management practices (Carson 1975).

         Our work on flood risk focuses on advancing the concepts, knowledge, and modeling tools around the sustainable management of flood risk, including re-imagining and reoperating our structural approaches and the development of innovative solutions through investigating nonstructural practices.

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