National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
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DAM AND LEVEE SAFETY
AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

A VISION FOR FUTURE PRACTICE

Committee on Integrating Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience

Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS   500 Fifth Street, NW   Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract HSFEHQ-10-C-1400 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-25614-8

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25614-3

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu/.

Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the ­National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the ­National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

COMMITTEE ON INTEGRATING DAM AND LEVEE SAFETY AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

JOHN J. BOLAND (Chair), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

TONY BENNETT, Ontario Power Generation, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

RAYMOND J. BURBY, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

STEPHEN J. BURGES, University of Washington, Seattle

RITA E. CESTTI, The World Bank, Washington, DC

ROSS B. COROTIS, University of Colorado, Boulder

CLIVE Q. GOODWIN, FM Global Insurance Company, Johnston, Rhode Island

ROGER E. KASPERSON, Clark University, Washington, DC

SHIRLEY LASKA, University of New Orleans, Louisiana

LEWIS E. LINK, University of Maryland, College Park

MARTIN W. McCANN, Jr, Jack R. Benjamin & Associates, Inc., Menlo Park, California

HILLMAN MITCHELL, King County Office of Emergency Management, Renton, Washington

National Research Council Staff

SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Study Director

JASON ORTEGO, Research Associate

CHANDA T. IJAMES, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

COMMITTEE ON GEOLOGICAL AND GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING

EDWARD KAVAZANJIAN, Jr. (Chair), Arizona State University, Tempe

JOHN T. CHRISTIAN, Consulting Engineer, Burlington, Massachusetts

PATRICIA J. CULLIGAN, Columbia University, New York, New York

CONRAD W. FELICE, HNTB Corporation, Bellevue, Washington

DEBORAH J. GOODINGS, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

JAMES R. RICE, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

National Research Council Staff

SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer

CHANDA T. IJAMES, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES

CORALE L. BRIERLEY (Chair), Brierley Consultancy, LLC, Denver, Colorado

WILLIAM E. DIETRICH, University of California, Berkeley

WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia

RUSSELL J. HEMLEY, Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC

MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

EDWARD KAVAZANJIAN, Jr, Arizona State University, Tempe

DAVID R. MAIDMENT, University of Texas, Austin

ROBERT McMASTER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

M. MEGHAN MILLER, UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

ISABEL P. MONTAÑEZ, University of California, Davis

CLAUDIA INÉS MORA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

BRIJ M. MOUDGIL, University of Florida, Gainesville

CLAYTON R. NICHOLS, Idaho Operations Office (Retired), Ocean Park, Washington

HENRY N. POLLACK, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

DAVID T. SANDWELL, University of California, San Diego

PETER M. SHEARER, University of California, San Diego

REGINAL SPILLER, Azimuth Investments, LLC, Houston, Texas

TERRY C. WALLACE, Jr., Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

National Research Council Staff

ANTHONY R. de SOUZA, Director (until April 2012)

ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Director (from April 2012)

DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer

ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer

SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer

MARK D. LANGE, Program Officer

JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative and Financial Associate

NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate

COURTNEY R. GIBBS, Program Associate

JASON R. ORTEGO, Research Associate

ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant

CHANDA T. IJAMES, Senior Program Assistant

Page viii Cite
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

Preface

Late in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. newspapers were filled with speculation as to whether New Orleans would continue to exist as a great and unique American city. Levee and floodwall failure had inundated large parts of the city and resulted in more than 1,500 deaths and catastrophic damage to property and the economy. In 2011, extreme amounts of precipitation, inadequate levees, and possible mismanagement of reservoirs contributed to widespread flooding around Bangkok, Thailand. More than 500 deaths have been associated with that flood,1 and the closing of more than 1,000 industrial facilities had severe repercussions for global supply chains in the electronics and automotive industries.2 These two incidents occurred half a world and 6 years apart, but they shared a set of facts: neither city was adequately prepared, had appropriate measures in place to mitigate damage once flooding occurred, or seemed able to recover quickly; and neither city proved particularly resilient in the face of what were somewhat foreseeable circumstances.

Resilience has long been a major topic in the natural-hazard literature and is defined in this report as the ability of a system to absorb disturbance and quickly return to normal or a new normal while maintaining its identity and ability to function. In the case of earthquakes, for example, there is convincing evidence that building community resilience through preparedness, risk communication, response and recovery planning, and adaptation substantially reduces short-term and long-term effects of earthquakes. It is reasonable to assume that the same would be true for flooding events, but many questions arise: What actions increase resilience? Who should take those actions? How can they be motivated to do so? How can one monitor progress and success in building resilience? And, most relevant to the present study, how can the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) use its programs and networks to promote increased community resilience?

_____________

1See www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15610536.

2See www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/business/global/07iht-floods07.html

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
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In its search for answers, FEMA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to convene a committee to determine how dam and levee safety programs can be broadened to include activities that enhance community and regional preparation for, response to, mitigation of, and recovery from infrastructure failure. A committee was formed in early 2011 and included a wide array of disciplines, such as engineering, economics, planning, natural-hazard studies, hazard insurance, emergency management, and sociology.

Not surprisingly, committee members quickly discovered that, although they shared long experience and deep interest in the subject, they were accustomed to working within rather different paradigms and vocabularies. Consequently, members devoted much time early in the study to learning to understand one another. The committee noted that its own communication difficulties could be considered a microcosm of the broader communication issues that every community of diverse stakeholders will confront as it attempts to build resilience.

This report describes a tool for assessing stakeholder engagement that can also gauge and document a community’s progress toward greater resilience. As the committee worked to understand and develop this into a tool useful at the community level, the tool itself promoted communication among the members and eventually helped the committee reach its consensus conclusions. By extension, the tool should serve the same purpose in a community, facilitating communication as stakeholders strive to build resilience. Many tools are available for increasing community resilience, but the Maturity Matrix for Assessing Community and Stakeholder Engagement emerges as an instrument for organization, communication, and assessment—a “tool of tools.”

Before embarking on the study, however, the committee had to understand the meaning and intent of the statement of task, particularly as it describes the problem confronting the sponsor. This consideration was helped greatly by early conversations with Dr. Sandra Knight, FEMA deputy associate administrator for mitigation. Dr. Knight’s presentation at the first meeting emphasized several ideas that would become central themes of the study: the notion of the “whole community” as the locus of action, the importance of an integrated approach to reducing risk, and FEMA’s need to find ways to motivate change through its existing dam and levee safety programs. In addition to Dr. Knight’s assistance, the committee is also grateful to FEMA’s James Demby for his advice and support at various critical points in the study.

The committee met four times over an 8-month period: twice in Washington, D.C., and twice in Irvine, California. In the course of those meetings, the committee consulted with a number of dam and levee engineering, management, and safety experts. They included Sandra Knight of FEMA; James Gallagher, Jr. of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services; Yazmin Seda-Sanabria of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Program; Steve Verigin of GEI Consultants (former chief of the California Department of Water Resources Division of Safety

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

of Dams); Kurt Rinehart of the Miami, Ohio, Conservancy District; Dennis Mileti of the University of Colorado; and Richard Pineda of the California Department of Water Resources. The committee is grateful to all these individuals for their thoughtful presentations and thought-provoking discussions.

Other persons attended open sessions of committee meetings and provided input. Numerous outside experts were consulted by individual members over the course of the study as the committee deliberated its task and prepared its report. Their input provided much to consider and contributed greatly to the final product

The committee had numerous occasions to be grateful for the exceptional competence and efficiency of the NRC staff members assigned to this project. Complicated logistical arrangements were handled with ease and good humor by Chanda Ijames, senior project assistant. Jason Ortego, research associate, was responsible for completing numerous research assignments, usually required in a matter of days, and he always exceeded our expectations.

An avid reader of NRC report prefaces will have seen numerous references to the high quality of its staff directors, often noting substantive contributions to fulfilling tasks in addition to managing the myriad activities that go into these studies and, finally, producing the final reports. But our experience went beyond expectations. Our staff director, Sammantha Magsino, senior program officer, served as technical resource, fact-checker, inspiration, author, editor, and taskmaster. She was repeatedly able to turn vigorous discussion into consensus, scattered notes into coherent text, and rambling discourse into disciplined thinking. Samm made the committee’s challenging task rewarding and the chair’s work manageable.

From the first meeting of this committee, there was no doubt about members’ passion for the subject of community resilience, born of long experience with floods and their aftermath. But the transformation of their passion into concrete suggestions for FEMA, as it builds strategies for community resilience into dam and levee safety programs, proved complex and challenging. We believe that we have made a good start, but there is more to be done.

John J. Boland

Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report:

Gerald E. Galloway, University of Maryland, College Park

John R. Harrald, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Alexandria

Desmond Hartford, BC Hydro and Power Authority, Burnaby, British Columbia

Arleen A. Hill, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

James Johnson, Independent Consultant, Columbia, Maryland

Peggy A. Johnson, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Michael K. Lindell, Texas A&M University, College Station

Alessandro Palmieri, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Ricardo Pineda, California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento

Paula Scalingi, Bay Area Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, Pleasanton, California

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Christian, Consulting Engineer, Burlington, Massachusetts. Appointed by

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13393.
×

the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety programs to consider community- and regional-level priorities in decision making can help reduce the risk of, and increase community resilience to, potential dam and levee failures.

Collaboration between dam and levee safety professionals at all levels, persons and property owners at direct risk, members of the wider economy, and the social and environmental networks in a community would allow all stakeholders to understand risks, shared needs, and opportunities, and make more informed decisions related to dam and levee infrastructure and community resilience. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice explains that fundamental shifts in safety culture will be necessary to integrate the concepts of resilience into dam and levee safety programs.

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