Journal of the
WATERWAYS AND HARBORS DIVISION
Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers
FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT IMPROVES MAN'S ENVIRONMENTa
By James E. Goddard,1 F. ASIE
The increase in flood damage potential, despite great expenditures on flood
control, is a serious problem for engineers and public officials. The com-
plexity of society and the greater density of land occupancy brought about by
the increasing population make it impossible to deal with the underlying
factors of flood prevention through the traditional approach. Prevention through
regulation of land use, as well as correction through flood control structures,
must be used.
Inherent advantages in the flat flood plains will continue to encourageAe-
velopment there, despite the great disadvantage of the flood hazard. TITfre is
also the advantage of location, or proximity, for the flood plains in and near
expanding urban centers. These factors indicate the greatneed for coordinated
planning of water resource development and the use of controls to prevent
unwise and uneconomical development of flood plains.
There is a need for improved flood plain management that will lead to the
best use of water resources and flood plain lands. Flood plain regulations
and flood control are needed to reduce flood damage. Maximum benefits from
reservoirs and their shorelines must be insured. Methods of evaluating and
preserving future reservoir sites should be given greater attention. Experi-
ences in the Tennessee Valley and elsewhere are used to illustrate how these
and other elements are considered in comprehensive planning for the develop-
ment of water resources and flood plain lands.
Note.-Discussion open until April 1, 1964. To extend the closing date one month, a
written request must be filed with the Executive Secretary, ASCE. This paper is part
of the copyrighted Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, Proceedings of the
American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 89, No. WW4, November, 1963.
a Presented at the February, 1963 ASCE Environmental Engrg. Conf. at Atlanta, Ga.
1 Chf. of Local Flood Relations, TVA, Knoxville, Tenn.
Since man first appeared on earth, water has been a critical factor in his
environment. Sometimes there was too little, and he took action to get more.
Often there was too much, and again he took action, this time to protect him-
self and his belongings against it. In either case, the problems of water in
man's environment necessitated research and thought, leading to engineering
achievements that in turn have improved the environment.
What man has done and should be doing for the control and management of
water in his environment, as well as what man can do to control his environ-
ment when the waters cannot be controlled, will be examined herein. Man's
past solutions largely have been through engineering alone; man's new
approach is a much broader one, involving the cooperative efforts of both
engineers and public administrators.
MAN'S DEFIANCE AND BATTLE WITH FLOODS
Through the centuries, man built great metropolises at the sites of early
villages on the water's edge. Thus, man has often suffered great losses from
rampaging flood waters. In the United States alone, the Corps of Engineers
and others estimate that there are approximately 2,000 cities subject to
flood damage. That is a conservative estimate, as there are nearly 150 com-
munities in the Tennessee River Basin.
To maintain his environment, man, the invader of nature's flood plain,
started flood control in an effort to protect his immense and expanding in-
vestment by keeping the water away. Dams, reservoirs, levees, walls, and
channel improvements are all flood control structures with which the public
The water control system in the Tennessee River Basin is an example of
the way in which man controls floods. The system consists of twenty-five
major dams and reservoirs with nine on the main river and sixteen on the
tributaries. In addition, there are three small acquired projects and six
belonging to the Aluminum Company of America that are operated in accord-
ance with an over-all plan and agreement. In this system there is a total of
at least 11,800,000 acre-ft of flood storage capacity available on January 1
of each year.
Benefits to other water-use programs, both within and near the Tennessee
Valley, include more than 650 miles of 9-ft navigable waterway, huge blocks
of hydro-power, improved municipal and industrial water supplies, cooler
water for steam plants and industries, and extensive recreational sites. Low
water releases out of the Tennessee River increase the low water flow in
the Mississippi River, as much as 20% at Baton Rouge.
Nearly $5,000,000,000 has been spent in the United States in less than three
decades in this effort to protect man's investments against the floods. It is
estimated by the Corps of Engineers that another $10,000,000,000 would be
required to provide similar protection for the remainder of the developments
now subject to the devastating effects of floods. These expenditures are a
noticeable share of our national budget.
FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT
The Losing Battle.-During the past 25 yrs there has been a growing
awareness that the "flood control" approach does not seem to be the total
answer to the problem. Studies by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the
Corps of Engineers, and especially the Department of Geography at the Uni-
versity of Chicago, verify this concern, as they indicate that man has been
losing his battle with nature. There has been no question or doubt as to the
sound engineering involved in the planning, design, and construction of the
flood protection structures. Engineers have been commended time after time
for their outstanding contributions. Nevertheless, the flood damage potential
has been increasing.
These studies have all intimated the need for a new look at the over-all
problem. Evidence overwhelmingly stated the need for keeping man away from
water. Experience and knowledge through the ages have made man aware of
nature's demands on flood plains. It is only common sense to give serious
thought to the economics of vying with nature in these flood plain areas, and
to plan a sound program for total flood plain management.
Acceptance of Controls.-Man gradually realized the need for, and then
adopted, controls over the use of water, air, and especially the land on which
he lives. The acceptance of these controls has increased, as officials and the
public at large realize the growing complexities of social problems. Popula-
tion changes have brought about greater densities in occupancy of certain
lands, including flood plains, and those densities are expected to increase.
Fig. 1 illustrates this. This evidence makes it apparent that, along with other
land use controls, there must be controls for the flood plain lands.
Use of Subventions.-- Expenditures for flood control to protect developments
in flood hazard areas are really financial supports or subventions to the
owners of those flood plain properties. This hazard is as natural and lasting
as that of the steep slopes of mountain sides that are only more apparent
because they can be seen every day. Yet, man is not subvening the removal of
mountains or changing them so that he can use those areas more fully.
It is necessary to consider the best way to use financial supports. The
need for and the use of such support change with time. Many considerations
affect the choice of the "best way." Large subventions are required to make
developments safe in only limited areas of the flood plains. For equivalent,
or smaller expenditures, much larger areas can be opened to industrial,
agricultural, residential, and other uses. An example illustrating this is found
at one of the cities on the Tennessee River. Some local interests sponsored
a local levee project that would have reclaimed approximately 400 acres of
flood-hazard lands for industry. However, subsequent studies indicated that,
for the same investment, a railroad could be extended westward and down-
stream in order to open several thousand acres for industrial use.
ELEMENTS OF FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION
To maintain and improve man's environment, it is necessary to take a
comprehensive look at the ways of managing existing flood plains. Some of the
elements involved in providing the most economical abatement of flood
damages are considered herein. Fig. 2 shows those elements and their general
relation to one another.
FIG. 1.-INCREASED DEVELOPMENTS IN A WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA FLOOD PLAIN
OTHER CORRECTIVE MEASURES FLOOD PLAIN REGULATIONS OTHER PREVENTIVE MEASURES
EVACUATION ZONING ORDINANCES DEVELOPMENT POLICIES
FLOOD FORECASTING SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS
FLOOD PROOFING BUILDING CODES T
URBAN REDEVELOPMENT HEALTH REGULATIONS FLOOD INSURANCE
I I I
OTHERS OTHERS OTHER
- ....--.---. PUBLIC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION -------- --- -- ----
FIG. 2.-ELEMENTS OF FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION
_ __ L~L 1 _I_ ~_
72 November, 1963 WW 4
Flood Control.-These control items are familiar to the public. These are
the activities that have been carried out so well by the Corps of Engineers,
TVA, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Soil Conservation Service.
Other Corrective Measures.-The public is well-acquainted with flood
forecasting and evacuation. These activities generally are conducted in tandem
in order to obtain the greatest benefits.
Flood-proofing is an element that only recently has begun to receive the
attention it deserves. This involves measures taken to render existing or
proposed structures, property, and lands less vulnerable to flood losses. A
study2 of the feasibility of flood-proofing, indicates that it has special promise
in situations where: 1. Moderate flooding with low-stage, low velocity, and
short-duration is experienced; 2. the traditional methods of flood protection
are not feasible; 3. individuals desire to solve their flood problems without
collective action or where collective action is not possible; 4. activities that
demand riverine locations to function need some degree of protection; and
5. a resource manager desires a higher degree of protection than that pro-
vided by a traditional flood control project. The sketch in Fig. 3 illustrates
twelve of the many possible measures.
The public is familiar with urban redevelopment programs, but many
people do not realize that flood damage prevention measures can be included.
These measures permit additional opportunities to correct many of the flood
Flood Plain Regulations.-These regulations, as well as many "other
preventive measures," are tools that can be used only by state and local
governments. Therefore, the success of flood plain regulations programs lies
chiefly with the state and local people. This is not to state that the Federal
Government cannot and should not do much towards helping those agencies in
planning and carrying out the programs.
It is important in terms of fairness and reasonability, as well as for ful-
fillment of legal requirements, that such regulations be a part of over-all
ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, or health regulations for
the city, county, or state involved. For the same reasons, these flood plain
regulations must be integrated into the over-all plan for development of the
subject area. Such regulations generally provide for a floodway to permit the
safe passage of flood waters and for controls to prevent constrictions n the
channel and flood plain. They require that structures in areas iace ntto
the floodway be above desl~nated flood elevations or that they be flood-
proofed; structures must be designed to withstand velocities and inundation;
and disposal fields and other items directly relatedto health must be reason-
ably safe from flooding.
An ASCE Task Force on Flood Plain Regulations studied this general sub-
ject. Its report3 considers the engineering principles and techniques involved,
as well as the technical data required for establishing an equitable and reason-
able flood plain regulations program. A brief examination of the way in which
regulations are adopted and implemented is also included.
2 "Flood Proofing: An Element in Flood Damage Reduction Program, by John R.
Sheaffer, Research Paper No. 65, Dept. of Geog., Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., 1960.
3 "A Guide for the Development of Flood Plain Regulations, Task Force on Flood
Plain Regulations, Journal of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE, Vol. 88, No. HY5, Proc.
Paper 3264, September, 1962, pp. 73-119.
Permanent closure of opening with masonry
Thoroseal coating to reduce seepage
Valve on sewer line
Instrument panel raised above expected flood level
Machinery protected with polyethylene covering
Strips of polyethylene between layers of cartons
Underground storage tank properly anchored
Cracks sealed with hydraulic cement
Rescheduling has emptied the loading dock
Steel bulkheads for doorways
Sump pump and drain to eject seepage
FIG. 3.-A FLOOD-PROOFED STRUCTURE
74 November, 1963 WW 4
Other Preventive Measures.-A few of the more common measures are
shown in Fig. 2. Open spaces and warning signs are fairly self-explanatory.
Development policies are those formal or informal policies of a city, or other
political subdivision, dealing with the extension of schools, streets, power,
water, and other utilities. These facilities can be extended into areas safe
for development, rather than into flood hazard areas. Such activities wield
a soft-sell, negative influence on flood plain exploitation, and they exert
positive leadership toward use of the higher ground.
Tax adjustment is an effective, though heretofore little used and little
considered, approach. For example, unless tax concessions are made, rural
farmland adjacent to communities will become more valuable each year as
residential or commercial developments move into such areas, causing the
tax evaluation of adjacent farmland to rise to the point that the land no longer
can be used profitably for farming or open use.
Flood insurance, if established on a sound and equitable basis, could be
an effective element. Congress authorized, through its Federal Flood Insur-
ance Act of 1956, a subsidized experimental program, but has not appropriated
funds to carry out its provisions. Hurricane and inland flood disasters during
recent years have maintained the pressures for some type of flood insurance.
The Interstate Conference on Water Problems of the Council of State Govern-
ments again discussed this at the September, 1962 meeting and reaffirmed an
earlier recommendation to revise the Act, in orderto provide a practical and
Public Understanding.--This element in flood damage prevention cannot be
over-emphasized. A successful program involves the coordination of local,
state, and Federal governments. The need for such coordination has been
TVA'S LOCAL FLOOD RELATIONS PROGRAM
The cooperative program in the Tennessee River Basin is accomplishing
much in reversing the trend of increasing flood damage potential. Initiated
in 1953, TVA cooperates with the seven Valley states and nearly 150 commu-
nities. Experience has indicated that in the Valley, as well as elsewhere,
probably less than one out of every twenty communities having a flood prob-
lem can solve most of that particular problem through flood control. However,
all solutions should include the application of controls over developments in
flood plains. For that reason, TVA works primarily through the state planning
agencies and with local planning groups.
In order to determine acceptable and economical preventive measures-as
well as to design flood control projects-basic flood data must be available.
In addition, there must be an understanding of the problem. Since 1953, TVA
has made available and has interpreted the wealthof hydrologic data gathered
over the past 30 yrs. That information consists of records of rainfall, runoff,
streamflow, flood profiles, and other hydrologic facts. With some supplemental
field investigation and administrative staff work, information pertinent to
flood problems of individual communities is assembled and analyzed.
4 "Role of the States in Guiding Land Use in Flood Plains,' by Henry F. Morse,
T Special Report No. 38, Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, Ga., June, 1962.
FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT
DISCHARGE IN THOUSAND CUBIC FEET PER SECOND
FIG. 4.-DETERMINATION OF REGIONAL FLOOD
76 November, 1963 WW 4
These data, couched in terms a layman can understand, are presented in
reports for individual communities. For that purpose a new kind of flood
report was designed using style, format, contents, and language that would
make it reasonably understandable to nontechnical as well as technical people.
Local Flood Reports.-TVA's reports include a short summary of the flood
problem, a section on historical floods, and a section on floods that may be
reasonably expected in the future. The reports do not contain solutions. Sup-
plemental studies are expected to determine solutions.
Floods of the past are listed and a chart prepared to show effectively the
heights and dates of occurrence. The chartis readily understood and is useful
to nontechnical people.
All areas have not experienced floods of equal magnitude. Also, floods of
variable magnitudes do not occur at regular intervals, or in regular cycles.
For these reasons, the maximum floods known to have occurred within 50
miles to 75 miles of a subject area are studied in order to determine the
general magnitude of a large flood, termed Regional Flood, that may be
reasonably expected to occur on the subject area. Fig. 4 illustrates the method
of determination and the data considered.
The study also determines a Maximum Probable Flood discharge and
magnitude which is generally equivalent to that of the Corps of Engineers'
Standard Project Flood.
Maps such as that indicated in Fig. 5 are used to show the areas that
would be inundated by the Maximum Probable Flood, and those actually
flooded by the maximum known, or some other major flood experience.
Profiles of the type shown in Fig. 6 are prepared to designate the bottom
of the stream, a low flow, two or more of the major floods that have been
experienced, the Regional Flood, and the Maximum Probable Flood. These
profiles also indicate major effects of encroachments that have been made
on the channel and flood plain.
Hydrographs showing stage, or elevation, and time are used to portray the
rate of rise and the duration of flooding.
Selected cross sections are included to supplement the topographic maps,
and especially in order to show the relationship between the area of the
channel and the area of the total flood section during large floods.
Photographs with flood heights superimposed or marked with arrows are
shown because they are most useful. These present in an effective fashion an
understanding of the flood potential that many will fail to derive from the
other tables, charts, and data.
Reports of this type have been prepared for 99 communities throughout the
Tennessee River Basin as indicated inFig. 7. The reports have been prepared
for approximately ten to twelve communities each year, but this number of
reports has been reduced, because greater efforts have now been assigned
to the follow-up action.
Distribution of Data.-Reports, prepared at the request of the local com-
munities and the respective state agencies, are made available, through the
state agency, to the local communities. Wide distribution is made locally by
the local officials, distribution to state agencies is made by the respective
agency with which TVA is working, and distributionto other Federal agencies
is made by TVA. In order to be of the greatest use to the greatest number of
people, wide distribution is important.
FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT
Follow-Up Planning Studies.- Planning studies are made by local com-
munities using flood data in the reports, along with other information per-
taining to land use and requirements of their community. Flood control and
other corrective measures, as well as flood plain regulations and other pre-
ventive measures, are considered. Planning assistance is provided by the
local communities or the state planning agencies, or both. TVA supplies
FIG. 5.-FLOOD AREAS
additional engineering assistance, as well as limitedplanning and legal advice
when such are requested. The engineering assistance includes the determina-
tion of effects of various sizes of floodways, interpretation of data, provision
of detailed data not included in the reports, and assistance in obtaining
additional field data. However, final decisions are made by local officials.
146 147 148 1
Miles above mouth of river
FIG. 6.-ELEVATIONS OF VARIOUS FLOODS
N CARFOR WHICH FLOOD
7L S CAR
OMMFIG. 7.-LOCIT WITH LOCAL FLOODING TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN
COMMUNITY FOR WHICH FLOOD
STUDY HAS BEEN COMPLETED
FIG. 7.-LOCAL FLOOD STUDIES IN TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN
_ _~1_~~_ _~r_~l_
80 November, 1963 WW 4
Flood plain regulations, prepared and adopted, generally include floodways
for the passage of flood waters and designated elevations for guidance in
errecting structures. Fig. 5 shows a floodway that is somewhat typical for a
community. It also shows the area subject to inundation by the Maximum
Probable Flood. This is an important guide to the many individuals, cities,
and firms that wish to take little or no risk of flooding.
Practically all of the communities in the Tennessee River Basin that have
adopted regulations have used the Regional Flood (Fig. 6) as the controlling
minimum elevation for floor levels. All of the communities for which reports
have been prepared have made use of the data. About one-half of them have
started follow-up planning studies and about one-third of the communities
have completed such studies. More than thirty communities have formally
adopted flood plain regulations.
Other Uses of Flood Data.-In addition to formal action taken by the com-
munities, many kinds of informal public and private activities have been
undertaken. Several cities have used the information to revise plans or loca-
tions for schools so that they would be reasonably free from flooding. Large
industries have used the information atnumerous sites. Individuals have plan-
ned and located homes at elevations free from floods. Shopping centers have
planned their buildings at elevations above flood levels, while using lower
areas for parking purposes. Insurance companies have used the flood infor-
mation in determining whether or not they would help to finance proposed
developments. Federal agencies, such as the VA, FHA, PHA, and URA use
the data in determining whether or not the Federal Government should insure
or guarantee financing of developments in low areas.
COMPREHENSIVE FLOOD DAMAGE PREVENTION
FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The objective of sound flood plain management is to develop the land to its
best use and to meet the flood problem by combining the kinds of activities
heretofore described into a comprehensive development program. Several
communities in the Tennessee Valley are using this approach.
In these communities the legislative body, such as a city council, officially
appoints a Flood Study Committee. The Committee studies flood control,
flood proofing, flood forecasting, zoning, subdivision regulations, building
codes, city policy in controlling extension of utilities, open spaces, parks,
urban renewal, and other elements in order to determine the combination
that will provide the best solution to the local problem. It determines a flood
damage prevention program or plan, and prepares a report and recommenda-
tions. Committee members are leading and respected citizens with varied
The Committee organizes work groups of other leading citizens to study
the general fields of flood control, flood plain regulations, flood-proofing,
and urban renewal.
TVA, through the state agency, provides engineering and other technical
assistance and guidance to the Committee and to each of the work groups.
However, the local communities assist in obtaining additional field informa-
tion, such as elevations of structures, profiles, cross sections, and estimates
FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT
The legislative body of the community considers the reports and recom-
mendations of its Flood Study Committee. The reports then forwarded to the
Governor of the State and to the TVA, requesting that they undertake those
portions of the plan that are appropriately the responsibility of the State and
the Federal Government, respectively. Upon receipt of the request, TVA re-
views the over-all plan, determines the action TVA should take, works out
cost sharing and other procedures with the local officials, and completes an
agreement with the community for execution of the plan.
Such assistance has been given the twin cities of Bristol, Tenn., and
Bristol, Va. Similar studies are well under way at two other communities,
and four others have requested assistance of this nature. Similar request
from other communities are expected.
NATIONAL PROGRAM OF FLOOD PLAIN INFORMATION REPORTS
Based on the successful experience of the cooperative program in the
Tennessee River Basin, TVA submitted a report to the Congress in 1959
recommending a national flood damage prevention program. In a subsequent
report to the Senate's Select Committee on National Water Resources, TVA
repeated the recommendations to the Congress. Public Law 86-645 of the
86th Congress authorized the Secretary of the Army through the Chief of
Engineers to compile and disseminate information on floods and flood damages
and to provide engineering advice to local interests, when requested by a
state or a responsible local governmental agency. This law put into effect a
part of TVA's recommendations for a national program.
The Corps of Engineers initiated its nation-wide program late in 1961.
Studies and reports are prepared in accordance with standard instructions.5
More than 60 studies in 25 states and Puerto Rico are under way with several
of them nearing completion. Nearly 50 additional requests for studies in these
and other states have been approved, and during the fiscal year of 1964, an
expanded program will probably be realized.
The United States Geological Survey also provides assistance in this field.
The survey prepares flood-hazard maps showing areas inundated, and eleva-
tions for selected historical floods. While they are useful guides, the maps
do not supply the complete information that is found in TVA or Corps of
Engineers reports. Also, communities must pay for 50% of the cost, whereas
TVA and the Corps of Engineers provide studies without charge.
STATE AND LOCAL PREVENTIVE ACTIONS
States. -States have for years recognized in varying degrees the need for
a nationally coordinated program with the states playing a greater role. The
Council of State Governments called a special conference in December, 1958,
discussed such a program at other meetings, and again considered it at the
December, 1962 Conference. Conclusions and recommendations favoring an
active, coordinated program were adopted.
-m 5 'Flood Plain Information Studies,' Corps of Engineers, Manual 1165-2-111, U. S.
Gov't. Printing Office, Washington, D. C., December, 1961.
82 November, 1963 WW 4
Connecticut and ten other states have adopted encroachment statutes to
preserve floodways for the passage of large flows. Illinois and a few other
states have revised their statutes and regroupedtheir water resource agencies
to give greater emphasis to basic prevention, along with corrective flood
prevention measures. Tennessee and North Carolina have completed state-wide
studies of the flood damage potential, of the kind of program necessary, and
of the respective roles of the local, state, and Federal governments in con-
trolling developments in sensitive areas, and in protecting the freedom of
operation of existing and proposed flood control projects. The states of New
Jersey and Ohio have made somewhat similar studies, and other states have
probably done the same. California, Wisconsin, and Indiana are three other
states that are taking action in this field.
Cities and Counties.--Numerous cities and counties from the East Coast
to the West Coast, and from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande, have
acted. Their actions vary from a barely acceptable minimum of controls to
comprehensive and effective management. The rapidly increasing number of
local governments that have become aware of their problems and that are
planning local programs is encouraging. Those local programs vary from
flood control alone, to flood plain regulations alone, to a coordinated program,
including all elements and assistance by various levels of government.
OTHER MAJOR FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
There is a need in the complex urban-industrial society of the United
States to relate water resources development to over-all development policies.
The uses of water are related not only to flood control, but also to water
supply, industry, and recreation. These, in turn, are directly related to
highway location, parks, industrial sites, urban development, etc. In this
framework the whole horizon of water resources development is broadened,
and the results of engineering work assume greater utility.
Controlling Shoreline Use.-An outstanding example of planning for sound
development of the shoreline resource is that of the Melton Hill Reservoir
on the Clinch River in Tennessee.6 The Tennessee State Planning Commission
coordinated this study in which other state and local agencies and TVA
The study identifies the opertunities for industrial, recreational, trans-
portation, and residential development that will be created by the reservoir.
It recommends local actions such as zoning in order to protect shoreline
lands, or the establishment of port authorities. Counties and cities already
are putting into effect some of these recommendations. Anderson County has
adopted a zoning ordinance, and Clinton has established a port authority.
Locating Highways.-The natural conflicts of the gigantic national highway
program with other possible uses of the relatively flat and open flood plains
is a major problem that can be satisfactorily solved only through coordination
at the higher levels of planning. Broad economic studies are needed to com-
pare the benefits of proposed highways to users and the region with the bene-
fits offered by possible reservoirs or other uses.
6 "Melton Hill Reservoir-Comprehensive Plan for Land Use Development, Publica-
tion No. 310, Tennessee State Planning Commission, Nashville, Tenn., December, 1960.
WW 4 FLOOD PLAIN MANAGEMENT 83
Preserving Reservoir Sites.- Planning and implementation of flood damage
prevention projects involving dams and reservoirs generally require an
extended period of time. Before the acquisition of lands can be started, de-
velopments in the proposed reservoir sites, such as industry, utilities, in-
stitutions, highways, or subdivisions may have increased the cost of the site
to the extent that acquisition is no longer feasible. In many more cases, the
failure to protect reservoir sites has drastically reduced the benefit-cost
ratio and the general value of the project. The Corps of Engineers in 1958
reported more than 35 prospective reservoir projects that had been lost or
that were in jeopardy for these reasons. The State of Oregon has compiled a
list of sixteen potential reservoir sites in that state that were not considered
feasible for the same reasons. This information emphasizes the great need
for preserving important reservoir sites. A report,' of a limited research
concerning the preservation of such sites, reviews the need for action, pos-
sible methods of preserving sites, experiences of state and Federal agencies,
and evaluation of sites to determine if preservation is justified. The conclu-
sions suggest actions that may be taken and indicate the need for certain
Locating Industry.-Industries have experienced the ravages of floods so
often that today many companies are insisting on complete data that will
permit them to select reasonably flood-free sites along navigation channels
and elsewhere. Developments during the last 60 yrs have permitted greater
latitude in the location of industrial plants.
It is possible for industry to take advantage of navigable waterways and
to still protect itself from unreasonable danger of floods. Since TVA was
created in 1933, approximately 171 new waterfront industries and terminals
have been established along the navigable waterway. These represent an in-
vestment of approximately $876,000,000 of private capital. Most of these plants
have been established on flood-free sites and the remainder have located
with full knowledge of the flood risk involved.
Sites uniquely qualified to serve industries that require waterfront loca-
tions should be preserved for such industries. Industries not requiring water-
front sites should find different locations.
Industry is sometimes slow in making its needs known, and as a result
many desirable industrial sites along streams and reservoir shorelines are
being used for residential purposes. State and local agencies can do much to
correct this situation by zoning. Federal, state or local governments can con-
trol these shoreline sites through ownership whenever they finance and con-
struct a reservoir project. Public Law 86-645 gives the Secretary of the
Army, through the Chief of Engineers, the right to convey by quitclaim deed,
to a state or other agency designated in the Law, certain surplus real property
in connection with the development of public ports or industrial facilities.
This law should open the way for other Federal agencies to work more effec-
tively to protect and to promote the availability of industrial and port sites.
Recreation and Waterfronts.-The continuing trends toward industrializa-
tion and urbanization have created new desires-even needs-for outdoor
recreation to help relieve the stresses and strains of congested living. The
mobility of Americans enables them to travel far afield in search of recrea-
7 "Preservation of Reservoir Sites," by George F. Olson, presented to the Dept. of
City and Regional Planning, Univ. of North Carolina, Raleigh, N. C., 1963.
84 November, 1963 WW 4
tion. Whenever dams are built, recreation resources are created. TVA has
issued a report8 telling how the recreation potentialities of its multipurpose
reservoir system have been developed for the use and enjoyment of the people
of the Tennessee River Basin and the United States. It provides experience
and suggestions that will be helpful to those people who are concerned, as
never before, with expanding such opportunities throughout the United States.
An Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, in fulfillment of
Public Law 85-470, surveyed the country's outdoor recreation resources,
measured present and likely demands on such resources during the remainder
of this century, and recommended actions to insure their availability to all
Americans of present and future generations.9 Its report was transmitted
to the President and to the Congress.
Developments along the streams and shorelines of reservoirs can easily
and quickly change the character of a region. Emphasis on recreation has
led to rapidly expanding subdivisions along reservoir shorelines. It has also
shown that there is generally inadequate access for the public. This is another
reason for studies such as that of the Melton Hill Reservoir.
UNIFORM FEDERAL STANDARDS
The need for greater and more effective coordination in water resources
development prompted the President to request a study by the four Secretaries
who would comprise the Water Resources Council under the President's
proposed Water Resources Planning Act. A reportl0 was submitted and
approved in May 1962. The report establishes executive policies, standards,
and procedures for uniform application in the formulation, evaluation, and
review of comprehensive river basin plans and individual project plans for
use and development of water and related land resources.
Benefits derived from improved floodplain management and a flood damage
prevention program include less waste, safer and fuller use of the land, in-
creased protection for life and property, and greater availability of funds for
supporting other development. Man's environment is improving as the pro-
gram of flood damage prevention and flood plain management expands.
8 "Outdoor Recreation for a Growing Nation, TVA, Knoxville, Tenn., 1961.
9 "Outdoor Recreation for America," Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commis-
sion, U. S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington, D. C., January, 1962.
10 "Policies, Standards, and Procedures in the Formulation, Evaluation, and Review
of Plans for Use and Development of Water and Related Land Resources," Water Re-
sources Council, U. S. Senate Document No. 97, 87th Congress, 2nd Session, U. S. Govt.
Printing Office, Washington, D. C., May, 1962.
KEY WORDS: environment; flood control; management; floods; recreation; regulations;
water resources; waterways; zoning
ABSTRACT: The increase in flood damage potential, despite great expenditures on
flood control projects, is a serious problem for engineers and public officials. The
complexity of American society and the greater density of land occupance brought
about by the increasing population make it impossible to deal with the underlying
factors through traditional approach. Prevention through regulation of land use, as
well as correction through flood control structures, must be utilized. There is a need
for improved flood plain management that will lead to the best use of water resources
and flood plain lands. Flood plain regulations and flood control are needed to reduce
flood damage. Maximum benefits from reservoirs and their shorelines must be in-
sured. Methods of evaluating and preserving future reservoir sites should be given
greater attention. Experiences in the Tennessee Valley and elsewhere are used to
illustrate how these and other elements are considered in comprehensive planning for
the development of water resources and flood plain lands.
REFERENCE: 'Flood Plain Management Improves Man's Environment," by James E.
Goddard, Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, ASCE, Vol. 89, No. WW4,
Proc. Paper 3702, November, 1963, pp. 67-84.