Grant Award Year:
University of Massachusetts Amherst
High intensity storms that deliver substantial amounts of precipitation for an extended period can lead to overbank flooding that inundates and damages surrounding property, disrupting human and ecosystems. Appropriate selection and implementation of flood management strategies can mitigate the negative impacts of these extreme flood events. This proposed research investigates the decision-process by which flood management strategies are adopted and implemented in western Massachusetts. We will identify the criteria used in decision-making and the situational factors influencing those priorities. The result will be i) a detailed catalog, geographically organized, of flood protection measures undertaken in the Connecticut and Deerfield River Basins; ii) a multi-variable matrix of decision-criteria with priority rankings used in practice to determine the selection of flood management strategies; iii) a relational framework indicating the decision-criteria most associated with specific situational factors. Increased understanding of decision-processes is needed for decision-support modeling efforts to identify the portfolio of strategies best suited for a specific community; provides necessary information for the design of policy and outreach efforts aiming to influence flood mitigation choice; and is useful for predicting what flood response strategies are likely to be adopted.