Shared Responsibility for Flood Risk Management
Responsibility for flood risk management in the United States is a shared responsibility between multiple Federal, state, and local government agencies with a complex set of programs and authorities. Nationally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and many other Federal agencies, have programs to assist states and communities in reducing flood damages and promoting sound flood risk management.
The authority to determine how land is used in floodplains and to enforce flood-wise requirements is the responsibility of state and local government. Floodplain management choices made by state and local officials, in turn, impact the effectiveness of Federal programs to mitigate flood risk and the performance of Federal flood damage reduction infrastructure. One key challenge is to ensure that as the public and government leaders make flood risk management decisions, they integrate environmental, social, and economic factors and consider all available tools to improve public safety.
Importantly, we must ensure the public is educated both about the risks they face and the actions they can take to reduce their risks. Because of this complex arrangement of responsibilities, only a life-cycle, comprehensive and collaborative systems approach will enable communities to sustain an effective reduction of risks from flooding. For more information on the databases, programs and initiatives, and models and tools available to for the water resources community in the U.S. and internationally, please see the Federal Support Toolbox for Integrated Water Resources Management.