Flood & Coastal Risk Management

We discover, develop and deliver products to quantify the risk-based performance of natural, engineered and hybrid systems threatened by long-term changes including extreme drought and flood and storm-induced hazards.

The Nation’s risk from floods and coastal storms continues to rise. The rising costs of disasters, growing impacts from climate change, and increased flood exposure due to population dynamics and changing land use – coupled with an aging and stressed infrastructure – is creating profound challenges for water resource and emergency management decision-makers and practitioners.

We develop scientific and technical capabilities to help reduce disaster risk, increase resilience and support sustainable water resource infrastructure by using cross-cutting strategies that encompass all the goals and the inter-related challenges of taking a systems approach and embracing collaboration and partnering.

We recognize the importance of understanding and managing risks to our environment in the face of increased frequency of extreme weather and climate change.

Our products and technologies offer solutions to better manage the risk and consequences of flooding from rivers, the sea, groundwater, reservoirs, surface water and coastal erosion to better protect properties and infrastructure and reduce the impacts of flooding on peoples’ lives and livelihoods.

Coastlines are dynamic landscapes that respond to a variety of meteorological and hydrodynamic forces at a range of spatio-temporal scales. Short-term hazards, such as storms, which result in extreme coastal erosion, flooding and infrastructure damage, are particularly challenging problems to prepare for and typically require billions of dollars for restoration and recovery efforts. Long-term hazards such as sea-level rise create challenges that aggregate in time and threaten large-scale communities and low-lying critical infrastructure. Sand resources are at a premium, and their effective management is critical to the long-term resilience of our Nation’s coastlines.

 CHL advances a range of measurement and modeling expertise, tools and databases to characterize the relevant coastal forcing climatology. To quantify the coastal response, we develop advanced field measurement techniques and modeling/analysis tools for coastal sediment transport and morphology response to support integrated coastal zone management and resilient coastlines. To support the design of engineering measures to manage coastal risk related to navigation, flooding and coastal erosion, we develop and execute physical and numerical modeling of coastal protection structure response.