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United States Flood Control Policy: The Incomplete Transition from the Illusion of Total Protection to Risk Management

23 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 151 (2012)

Chicago-Kent College of Law Research Paper

33 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2013  

A. Dan Tarlock

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Until the mid-twentieth century, the story of modern flood control was the transition from adaptation to the inevitable to an expectation that government would provide maximum flood prevention and generous post-disaster relief for floodplain dwellers. For the last sixty years or so, the story has been the growing recognition, especially as the understanding of climate change has increased, that the goal of maximum protection is unobtainable because flood damage is an inevitable risk that can only be managed, but never totally avoided. Thus, we are now making the transition to the idea that we must manage floodplains through a combination of structural defenses, upstream storage, and land-use controls.

Keywords: flood control, flood prevention, hydrology, maximum protection, government relief, risk management, climate change

JEL Classification: K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Tarlock, A. Dan, United States Flood Control Policy: The Incomplete Transition from the Illusion of Total Protection to Risk Management (2012). 23 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 151 (2012); Chicago-Kent College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2218627

A. Dan Tarlock (Contact Author)

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 West Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661
United States
(312) 906-5217 (Phone)
(312) 906-5280 (Fax)

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