Up or Out?—Economic-Engineering Theory of Flood Levee Height and Setback uri icon

abstract

  • Levee setback (location) and height are important issues in flood levee system design and modification. This paper derives an economic-engineering theory of the optimal trade-off of levee setback for height both for original and redesigned flood levees, demonstrating the interconnection of levee setback, height, costs and risks, and economically optimal design. These analyses assume stationary flood hydrology and static ratios among damageable property value, unit construction cost, and land price. The economic trade-off of levee setback for height depends on economic cost and benefit and hydraulic parameters, and only indirectly on flood frequency and economic damage parameters. The redesign rules derived in this paper indicate conditions where existing levees should be raised or moved in response to changes in conditions. Numerical examples illustrate the results. This paper demonstrates several ideas and theory for economic flood levee system planning and policy rather than providing guidelines for direct design practice.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009
  • 2009