Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

U. S. Flood Control Program Challenges for the Social and Environmental Sciences


Series:Conversations in Conflict Studies
Speaker:Peter Black
Location:Crouse Hinds 010
Date:Tue, Apr 26, 2011
Time:12:00 PM

Additional Information

Formalized in 1936, the Omnibus Flood Control Act as programs of upstream flood prevention by the fledgling Soil Conservation Service and downstream flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers. The flood control missions of both agencies are embodied in questionable missions based on the role of floods that wreak havoc with riverine environments, as well as economic, policy, and political strategies now and in the future. This flood control program is built on truncated and consequently erroneous observation about floods, as well as a lack of understanding of the nature of flood definition and occurrence frequency, nonproductive methods of economic analysis (also promulgated in the 1936 Flood Control Act), and flagrant violation of fundamental physics, and needs major attention; the evidence which validates this is overwhelming. A proposed alternative approach would enable and celebrate natural floods, would manage their hydrological values and not attempt to control them, and ultimately lessen and/or do away with major current and future economic and political problems.

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Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 04/23/2011 12:55:07