THe Blog

March 09, 2015

President Obama Signs Executive Order to Address Threats from Flooding

Recognizing the importance of planning for resilience, US President Obama signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels when constructing new projects in flood prone regions.

 

This RAND piece highlights the issues:

 

"... Judging by the best available science, a two-foot safety margin is likely to prove adequate to offset sea level rise in most coastal communities at least until 2040, and more likely than not to prove adequate to almost the end of this century. A three-foot safety margin likely buys a few decades. Is this the right safety margin for all projects? Probably not... In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project ... The new executive order provides a simple rule adequate for many cases, with the promise of spurring the development of better information and engineering best-practice needed to customize local responses to sea level rise."

 

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