United States EPA: Modelling study demonstrates that "green infrastructure = flood resilience"


NEW REPORT: Green infrastructure significantly reduces flood damages

Released in December 2015, and completed under the direction of Dr. Dan Medina, this modeling study estimates the flood loss avoidance benefits from application of small storm retention practices for new development and redevelopment nationwide.

Twenty HUC8 watersheds were modeled in areas where significant growth is expected between 2020 and 2040, using the FEMA Hazus model and national-scale datasets. The area of the watersheds ranges between 500 and 3,000 square miles. The study was conducted in consultation with other federal agencies including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The approach was vetted by a panel of experts from government, academia, and industry. The results show that, over time, the use of green stormwater infrastructure can save hundreds of millions of dollars in flood losses, while just applying the practices to new development and redevelopment only. If retrofitting were to occur, the avoided losses would be even more significant.

Safer, More Livable Communities

“GI is already a central concept in current land planning practices but it is rarely a consideration in flood hazard mitigation planning,” states Dr. Daniel Medina. “This Dan Medina_2016_120pshortcoming is caused by a disconnect between the comprehensive urban planning process and the disaster mitigation planning process, mostly due to the different priorities and missions of the entities involved at various levels in government.

“Yet, the results of this study indicate that GI can provide a way to link planning and hazard mitigation actions and create a comprehensive framework for creating safer, more livable communities.”

“Given that flood water is essentially the same as rainwater, there is a pressing need to improve the water-centric messaging about the link between runoff volume reduction and flood damage avoidance,” concludes Dr. Medina.

To Learn More:

Download Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management.

Read NEW REPORT: Green infrastructure significantly reduces flood damages, a story posted on the Green Infrastructure community-of-interest.

US EPA_Green Infra & Flood Resilience_growth areas