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Loebsack Introduces Bill to Create National Flood Center

Legislation establishes National Flood Research and Education Consortium to conduct comprehensive flooding research

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Washington, June 22, 2011 | Joe Hand/Dana Bartolomei (202-225-6576) | comments
Congressman Dave Loebsack today introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that will create a National Flood Research and Education Consortium (NFREC) to advance the understanding of the causes of flooding, implement advanced flood prediction methods and promote policies that would help prevent future flood damage and natural disasters.  The National Flood Research and Education Act (NFREA) will establish a consortium, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and institutes of higher education, to conduct comprehensive research on flooding, flood prevention and other flood-related issues.  This legislation is supported by the Iowa Flood Center, which has provided important expertise and guidance in the wake of the Floods of 2008.

“As Iowans are all too aware, in recent years, flooding has caused more damage than any other natural disaster.  Many Iowans are still recovering from the Floods of 2008 and today we are seeing severe flooding both on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and in North Dakota, causing billions in damage,” said Loebsack.  “Unfortunately, there are currently no comprehensive flood research efforts in the U.S. and that is why I introduced the National Flood Research and Education Act.  This legislation will ensure we have the best information possible, look at floods comprehensively, test new methods and build on promising methods and techniques to better predict, prevent and recover from flooding.”

Dr. Witold F. Krajewski, the Director of the Iowa Flood Center said, “The National Flood Research and Education Act and the National Flood Center that it creates, will greatly benefit our nation by significantly shortening the path from flood research to implementation. The National Flood Center will help engage the creativity and expertise at our nation’s best universities, enhance the work of our federal and state agencies, and educate the next generation of experts. Through this comprehensive effort we can change our nation's focus on flooding from reactive to proactive and save resources at all levels of government."

The NFREA establishes a National Flood Research and Education Consortium (NFREC) to conduct research on flooding, flood prevention and other flood-related issues. NFREC will ensure that differing hydrology, weather, urban, suburban, and rural areas and economies are examined so diverse flood situations are represented.  Research will be coordinated with a wide-range of federal, state, and local organizations and led by NOAA with an institution of higher education that has significant expertise and experience in examining flood-related issues. The research will provide important insights on comprehensive flooding issues, such as water management or release rates for the Corps of Engineers, flood inundation and preparation, and management and recovery efforts in other local, state and federal agencies.

The National Flood Center’s work will lead to a wide variety of policy and practice recommendations as they relate to predicting, preparing, preventing and recovering from floods.  This will include analysis of the economic and social effects of flooding, analysis of federal, state, regional and local flood policy and development and testing of new or improved risk-assessment tools, methods and models. The bill will bring together leading institutions in the fields of physical and environmental science, including hydrology, hydraulics, hydrometeorology, climate, as well as engineering, sociology and economics to provide a comprehensive flood research effort.

Attached is an information sheet with additional details about the National Flood Research and Education Act.
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