New research (full report attached) by scientists from Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland shows that flooding in cities causes important issues including property damage, economic loss and decrease in quality of people's life.
“As we have witnessed for ourselves here in Texas, urban flooding is a serious threat to lives, property, and economic and infrastructure development,” Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said. “This unprecedented study is a wake-up call for the entire nation that urban flooding is a growing and dangerous problem, but likewise enormously powerful and exceptionally useful as it outlines feasible remedial approaches and solutions,” he added.
Flooding in urban environments occurs when the rainfall water flow is greater than the water flow that the landscape and the drainage system can handle. Nature provides a powerful drainage system that is removed from building projects. In order to prevent large cities from flooding, artificial drainage systems must replace natural procedures. However, these systems are often undersized or not preserved adequately and therefore water remains on the surface of the ground.
The study states that, even if urban flooding is a major issue, municipal governments have not managed to gather enough resources to address the problem. Moreover, no official federal organization responsible for supervising such activities exists. “Management and oversight activities related to urban flooding are scattered throughout governance levels and agencies. This creates overlaps in responsibility in some cases, gaps in others, and generally curbs progress toward effective management,” Gerry Galloway, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering with UMD’s Center for Disaster Resilience, stated.
The research team suggests that federal and municipal officials should cooperate in order to distribute the tasks of each organization and deal with the issue. Local initiatives to mitigate flooding shoud be encouraged and rewarded while the government should establish a federal agency to provide additional support.
“And at every level of government, officials need to take steps to ensure that efforts to combat the impacts of urban flooding reaches the communities and neighborhoods at the highest risk, regardless of their socioeconomic or geographic characteristics,” Drs. Sam Brody with A&M’s Galveston campus and Gerry Galloway with UMD said.