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Floodplain Management Process (Coursework Sample)


This paper explores the use of the floodplain specific management process to improve flood risk management in a floodplain. The paper also discusses the flood risk management framework and how information from the floodplain specific process is transferred into it. Moreover, the main issues addressed by the flood risk management framework are discussed. Finally, the end users who need information from the framework are identified.


Floodplain Management Process
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Flooding refers to the complete or partial submergence of land areas that are normally dry as a result of overflowing of tidal or inland waters or accumulation of water from any source. Floodplain refers to flat lowland areas bordering the coastal and inland waters and other areas that are prone to floods, for instance offshore islands. Floodplain management refers to the use of preventive and corrective strategies to reduce the damage caused by floods. One of the aims of floodplain management is to reduce the impact of flooding on the health, well-being and safety of communities and individuals living in flood-prone areas. According to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management (SCARM) (2000), floodplain management also aims to reduce the damage to public and private property caused by flooding. Moreover, floodplain management preserves and enhances the floodplain’s natural function. It also encourages the utilization of the numerous benefits of floodplains by the community (SCARM, 2000). This paper explores the use of the floodplain specific management process to improve flood risk management in a floodplain. The paper also discusses the flood risk management framework and how information from the floodplain specific process is transferred into it. Moreover, the main issues addressed by the flood risk management framework are discussed. Finally, the end users who need information from the framework are identified.
Improving Flood Risk Management through Floodplain Specific Management Process
The floodplain-specific management process refers to a risk-based process which includes steps that help individuals to comprehend and manage flood risk for specific geographic regions (SCARM, 2000). The steps in the floodplain specific management process includes data collection, flood study, flood management study, floodplain management plan and plan implementation. Each of these steps contributes towards the improvement of flood risk management in a floodplain. The first step is data collection, which involves the compilation of data that is already available and also collecting additional data about floods (New South Wales Government, 2005). Flood data is very crucial in comprehending and managing floods. This includes information about the community, historic flood events and the floodplain. The types of data that may be relevant include topographic, historic, ecological, economic, social, emergency management, flood, cultural and land-use data (SCARM, 2000). According to the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) (2013), sources of these data include records of past floods, records of historic events such as weather systems, flood risk management manuals, survey information, data from rain gauges and dams, information on land use, data on flood vulnerability and information on infrastructure and catchment conditions.
Flood study defines the extent and nature of the flood problem in technical form. It is a broad technical investigation into the flood behaviour which offers the technical foundation of an effective management plan. Flood study involves the consideration of the collected data, flood history and development of modes which are adjusted and verified against historic flood events and used to establish the comprehensive flood behaviour (AEMI, 2013). The flood study generates information that informs the community, stakeholders and the knowledge hub. A flood study facilitates the comprehension of the flood behaviour and effects on the community and this is important in informing decisions on whether the current management regimes are adequate and whether other management measures need to be considered (New South Wales Government, 2005). It also provides updated information on the knowledge hub. Moreover, a flood study informs decisions on land-use planning through enhancing the understanding of flood constraints and future management considerations. It also informs the emergency managers in planning for response and this increases their understanding of the effects of flooding to the community. A flood study also facilitates the availability of flood insurance by providing insurers with information that enable them to make informed insurance pricing decisions. It also helps in accounting for uncertainty of estimated flood velocities, extents and levels (AEMI, 2013).
Flood management study considers the ecological, social and economic factors that are related to the flood risk and determines the options. The flood management study goes beyond the flood study to enhance the understanding of the effects of floods on the current and future community, and test the available management options (New South Wales Government, 2005). It is concerned with the treatment of the current, future and residual hazard. A flood management study reviews the relevant data and the flood study in order to comprehend the existing flood risk and determine whether there is a need for treatment so as to alleviate the risk (SCARM, 2000). It also involves compiling all the relevant information about land use, environment, flood impacts, socioeconomic issues and emergency management planning. Where necessary, it also involves the development of vulnerability models in order to inform decision making. Moreover, it is concerned with involving the community in identifying options, raising concerns and providing opinions about options in order to consider their views during decision making. The areas requiring improvements are identified through the review of management strategies and the knowledge hub. The available options for the improvement of risk management are identified, compared, assessed and tested. This helps to understand the cost-effectiveness, feasibility and practicability of the available options and the barriers to implementation. It also involves considering the compliance of the options to the probable climate change impacts. Furthermore, it provides information on land-use planning including the ability and limitations of the land to sustain future developments without increasing the community’s flood risk (AEMI, 2013).
The floodplain management plan publicly exhibits the preferred options and subjects them to revision while taking the responses into account. Then the options are approved. This is where decisions about the future management of flood risk are made. The floodplain management plan is created in consideration of various policies, legislation and guidance influencing its implementation. There is also consultation with the members of the community (SCARM, 2000). The floodplain management plan is a set of measures intended to manage the current, future and residual hazards. It is developed while taking into consideration the consultations carried out in the floodplain management study. It enables the floodplain management entity (FME) to decide on how to manage the flood risk together with other partner agencies. This plan provides the proposed flood risk management measures and their implementation strategy (New South Wales Government, 2005). The residual risk which remains after implementation is also identified and measures to manage it are identified. A floodplain management plan should have sustainable and practical actions that can be implemented and maintained with the available resources and industry and government support. It should also be supported by the community and should be in compliance with the relevant policies, guidelines and legislation. The implementation strategy for the floodplain management plan should identify the time frame, potential funding, the organization undertaking the implementation and the costs and benefits of implementation. It also outlines the floodplain management measures as well as their benefits, ease of implementation and costs (AEMI, 2013).
Plan implementation involves the commencement of the process to alleviate flood risk. The plan needs to be reviewed and adjusted during the implementation. Effective implementation of the plan requires the use of the knowledge hub and keeping it updated with new information about the flood risk (SCARM, 2000). Communication plans are also needed to keep the agencies and community updated about the flood risk and ways of responding to it. Moreover, community education programs are necessary to keep the community informed about the threat of flooding and the suitable actions to take in response to the threat. Acquisition plans are also necessary to buy properties in areas that are flood-prone. Flood emergency management plans and recovery plans that are in compliance with relevant policies and legislation are also required. Implementation of the plan should be monitored and the implementation strategies need to be reviewed after every five years so that they can remain effective. The floodplain management plan can be changed if there are significant changes to community needs, significant barriers to implementation, proposal of significant changes in land-use trends, and technology changes. It can also be changed when the emergency management plan undergoes significant changes and when the selected options are proven to be unfeasible (AEMI, 2013).
Measures that can be implemented to alleviate flood risk include land use controls, development and building measures, structural controls and emergency measures. Land use controls involve removing high risk developments from floodplains and directing future inappropriate developments away from floodplain areas that are prone to risk. These measures prevent an increase in flood damage in future. Land use controls include zoning and voluntary purchase of property (Hawkesbury-Nepean Floodplain Management Steering Committee, 2006a). Development and building measures are the conditions which are attached to the construction of buildings ...
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