Value to the Nation logo graphic

Value to the Nation


Flood Risk Mgmt: Challenges

Flood Risk Management reduces the risk of damage and loss of life due to flooding and coastal storms. However, risk can never be completely eliminated. Substantial flood damage still occurs and lives are still at risk from flooding.

There are many reasons the nation faces flood risk. Challenges include:

  • Many of the more than 20,000 communities in the United States, as well as rural floodplain areas, are still susceptible to flooding
  • Aging infrastructure decreases reliability and increases maintenance costs
  • New housing developments may influence run-offs and increase flood rise
  • Climate change may alter flooding pattern
  • Federal and local flood risk policies sometimes are inconsistent
  • Communities are not aware enough of risks and the need to develop emergency management plans
  • Current legislation only allows USACE to study and build projects where willing sponsors exist.

USACE is taking steps to address these challenges. As USACE moves into the future, it must:

  • Seek water resources solutions that better integrate economic, environmental and quality-of-life objectives
  • Promote investment in flood and coastal risk management solutions
  • Support the formulation of regional and watershed approaches to water resource problems
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing USACE water resource projects.

Fast Facts

Flood Risk Management Graphics

The USACE Flood Risk Management Program works across the agency to focus the policies, programs and expertise of USACE toward reducing overall flood risk. This includes the appropriate use and resiliency of structures such as levees and floodwalls, as well as promoting alternatives when other approaches (e.g. land acquisition, flood proofing, etc.) reduce the risk of loss of life, reduce longer-term economic damages to the public and private sector, and improve the natural environment.