Description of the video:
>> All right, hello everyone. My name is Andrea Webster, and I work with IU's Environmental Resilience Institute. We're happy to welcome you today to the next Preparing for Environment Change webinar. And I will now pass it over to Janet McCabe, our moderator.
>> Hi, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us today.
We have record registration and attendance for this webinar. So we're thrilled to have everybody here. Today's topic is achieving flood resilience in Indiana rural communities in the face of a changing climate. And I think It's fair to say that we don't have a single issue that has as much interest as flooding, storm water management, and things related to having too much water.
Everybody should be muted right now. And we will have time for people to ask questions orally at the end. If you have a question that occurs to you during the presentations, please do consider sending a question through the chat function. Which you can access by hovering your mouse over the zoom window and you'll see the chat option appear.
Feel free to send it to everybody. If you wish our speakers may actually be able to sort of monitor that as they're going through. They may be able to answer it right during their presentation. If not, we'll try to get to it at the end. So let me start by saying a few words about the institute.
The Environmental Resilience Institute and the tools that we offer communities. Andrea I think is going to start sharing some slides. There we go. So there are lots of resources for local governments in particular. But these are available to absolutely anybody, including funding opportunities, case studies, all kinds of things on the Environmental Resilience Institute Toolkit website known as ERIT.
And a number of other resources as well which you can see listed here, but I won't go into that like I don't wanna take time from that. I do wanna draw your attention on the last one there, Hoosier Resilience Index. This is a tool that we're gonna be releasing in the fall of 2019.
Which is intended for local governments in Indiana to be able to understand their vulnerabilities to environmental change and importantly, their readiness or preparedness. We would love to recruit a couple of communities, either medium sized cities, small cities, counties, towns to consider being a beta community to work with us for a short period this summer.
To actually let us use it as a guinea pig to walk through this. And so, if you're interested in that, please contact Andrea Webster. I do wanna mention that the Environmental Resilience and this webinar series is a product of the prepared for environmental change grand challenges. One of the three grand challenges of Indiana University, but we have two important cosponsors which I want to be sure to mention.
Accelerate Indiana Municipalities, which is the statewide advocate for Indiana municipalities. A tremendous partner for us and a great organization. And also the Association of Indiana Counties, which is a supporter of the work that we're doing to bring resources to local governments. We had over 90 people register for today's webinar.
As I said, that is an absolute record. I have to give a shout out to Reggie. 4,000 in North West Indiana,who I think personally, has notified, thousands of people across the state. And I think is, actually hosting this webinar in her conference room, and has invited people to join her there, to watch it together and then talk about it afterwards, which I think is a great model.
Reggie, thank you. Maybe we can find some other regional groups that are willing to do that. Okay, so let's go to the next slide. I don't need to tell any of you that floods are impacting Indiana significantly, rural communities in particular. Although sometimes I think it's the cities that get the flashier coverage.
We have two very well-known experts in the field, very experienced, to talk with us about this today. Bob Barr from IUPUI is gonna talk about what is driving our flooding issues, and Siavash Beik will discuss how can we respond. So sort of the one, two, Ernie and Bert of flood control in Indiana.
Let me just quickly give you a little bit of background on the two of them. Bob is a research scientist in fluvial geomorphology and hydrology at the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI. His primary research focus is on understanding the physical processes necessary to achieve and maintain healthy stream systems.
He's participated in numerous large-scale stream assessments, including the Kankakee and Maumee Rivers in Northern Indiana, Eagle Creek and White Lick Creek in Central Indiana. His current projects include the Indiana Fluvial Hazard Mitigation Program, the school branch National Water Quality Initiative. The Kankakee River Base and Restoration Initiative, and the Indiana Silver Jackets Low Head Dam Initiative.
Siavash Beik is the Christopher B Burke Engineering, Vice President and it's Principal Engineer. With 40 years of professional experience in water resources engineering planning and management, hydrology, and hydraulics and project management. He's a national leader in promoting flood resiliency, flood risk management, and emergency action, emergency response planning for flooding from natural causes for dam and levee failures.
He's active in many national state, professional organizations. And currently serves as the Associate of State Flood Plane Managers, National Technical Policy Committee's Coordinator. So with that I'm gonna turn it over to Bob and then he and Siavash will present a seamless presentation. So take it away, Bob.
>> Thank you, Janet.
We should be good. Thank you very much for having us, we appreciate the opportunity to talk to this group. As Janet mentioned in her introduction, a number of you have heard us before. But this is a subject that is dear to our heart and something that we always look forward to talk to people about.
And of course, we have to have the obligatory technical issue here for a second. And now we're good. So many of you have paid attention this year to the flooding that has been on the front page of the paper, anytime you log onto your screen. You've seen pictures across the Upper Mid West.
The image in front of you is from the Elkhorn River in Nebraska. One of the tributaries to the Platte tributary to the Missouri River. You're actually not looking at the Elkhorn river in this image, you're looking at a small feeder stream next to the Elkhorn. Because the Elkhorn is so far out of its banks that it is eroding away the approach ramp to the bridge.
This type of damage was repeated over and over again across the upper Midwest. And it caused disruption across the mid part of the state, and led a lot of people to wonder what was next. A little bit later, in May, and this is an image from Lake County, the Kankakee is now nearing its bank-full stage.
This is near Singleton Ditch. All the roads are flooded, the fields are flooded, and people are asking, what can we do about this? Well, we're seeing inundation in all these areas. This is a picture from Whitewater River near Brookville, and you see in this case we not only have inundation, we've had erosion as well.
So here we're losing agricultural fields, and if you look carefully at the slide, you'll see a brand new high attention power line behind it, with the river actively migrating towards it. This scene, this situation is found all across the midwest, and all across the country. Whenever we follow-up on these, and and I frequently get to go visit after a flood, or during a flood, the first question is usually, what's happening?
Why does this continue to happen? And we start talking very quickly about changing in climate. In rural areas, most of the agricultural community is familiar with this. They don't have any problem with this, they understand what's going on, they're somewhat surprised at the intensity of it, and I use this image quite a bit.
This is from the 2014 National Climate Assessment, and it shows about a 37% increase through the midwest in very heavy precipitation, but what it's particularly telling us, if you look to the left hand side of the screen, you'll see a graph of departure from norm on a decadal method.
And here you'll see that from the early part of the century, the 20th Century, up through about 1990, the departures were at best 10% plus, 10% minus, and starting about 1990, we ramped up very, very quickly into the 25 and 30% range. If you think about when most of the critical infrastructure was put in in this country, it's back in that period a very normal precipitation, and what we're seeing now is of strong departure from that.
That has strained all the systems. They simply weren't designed for this. So now we're in a situation where we're trying to understand what the new normal might look like, and Jeff Dukes has been around the state. A number of you have probably heard him as well from the Purdue Climate Change Center.
But this is a statement from him. We now get about five or six more inches of rain each year than we used to get, and very important for flooding, this rain is usually coming in really large events. So with this, we frequently get inundation and we get the erosion that we talked about earlier.
This graph shows that change from 1895 to present, and you see the very sharp uptick as you get near the 1990s. You're looking at the slide, you can see right here the break in slope, and all of a sudden, we take straight off after about 1990, at a much sharper increase, and that has been a challenge to adjust to, because now when we start trying to address flooding, we need to address what's going to come, not just what's happening right at this time.
This graph shows the more frequent occurrence of extreme precipitation in Indiana. You'll see that the slope of the line very closely matches what we saw an increase in precipitation. So that now, and just simply look at the right-hand side of the slide, and you can see this big stack of increased very heavy rains.
The systems that were put in 30 years ago, even 20 years ago, weren't made for this type of event. We're also seeing changes in seasonality as well, and to integrate this, we start trying to look to see what's happening in the rivers themselves, and this is annual peak streamflow, excuse me, at Wildcat Creek near Jerome, Indiana, and if you look at this hydrograph, you'll see a linear trend from right around 2,000 to about 4,200 cfs, cubic feet per second.
Ten year moving average is over-printed audit in the dotted orange line, and you can see that we've now moved from the 2,000 to over 4,000 cfs discharge in Wildcat Creek near Jerome. This river is essentially twice the size that it was just a couple of decades ago. So they're dealing with an entirely different world in trying to understand how to manage it, and when we look at this, while we get a question right at first of what's happening, it's followed very closely by who did it?
And when we think about who did it, this very clearly shows everybody's doing it, because the stream is integrating both changes in land use and changes in precipitation. We'll take a look at that as we go on just a little bit further. Another slide. So that was central Indiana, and now let's go to northern Indiana, and here you see peak annual discharges Kankakee River at Shelby.
Here you see an uptick. Again, not quite as significant as what we saw in Wildcat Creek, but we go from about 3,900 cfs to now about 5,200 cfs. So not an insignificant increase, and one that you clearly notice in your flood protection. We also see changes in the average daily flow volume, so just the amount of water that's in the stream, and as you see on the bottom on the slide, we can attribute this to a lot of causes, is it agricultural drainage, is it urban development, is it rainfall?
And one of the challenges that we have when people say, who's fault is this, is they want a simple answer. They want us to be able to say, this is the driver. Well, we're gonna try to show you that it's not that simple. Agricultural drainage increase has been very difficult for us to quantify.
We can do a little bit better with urban development sometimes, but not all the time. Rainfall, however, we can get at a little bit, because if we start looking at the watershed, we look at the distribution precipitation, we can actually calculate the volume of water being received as rainfall, compare that to the discharge, and start looking at how that may have changed, and this slide shows what happens if we take out the rainfall.
So if we take out the rainfall you'll see that with other factors, it could be our ag drainage, could be urban development, almost always a combination of both, we still see a 22% increase in the daily volume. So we have an increase that is being driven by multiple factors, and with multiple factors at play we have to have multiple solutions, and we have to start understanding there's no silver bullet here, we have to address the system as a whole.
So what I've tried to show you quickly, There's an increase in average annual precipitation and we tried to show you that that trend seems to be continuing. We expect heavy precipitation to continue to increase as temperatures rise. And with that continued increase in precipitation and heavy precipitation, we expect an increase in flooding so that management and resiliency become critical.
And Jiavesh is going to pick up now and start talking to you about given the multiple drivers behind the flooding that we're seeing, both inundation and erosion. What tools do we have that we can use to help us manage this problem? Jiavesh?
>> Well, thank you, Bob, appreciate that really good background and to get us to the resilience.
So let's talk about that a little bit. Defining the resilience itself I think simply put, when we talk about flood resilience we're talking about measures taken to reduce vulnerability of the communities to the these damages from flooding. And also we're talking about supporting some faster recovery from extreme floods.
Now, to achieve the resilience you're after, you have to identify several steps, that may need to be pursued. One is understanding the root causes of flooding and erosion, in all areas there. Understanding the factors of that factors that impact what makes into the floods and how they are changing over time.
And understanding and communicating the extent of risk and its impacts. Next step and very major step is determining and communicating and mitigation strategies. And finally, the last step is to change your mindsets. And that's something that we'll talk about it a little bit further. But right now, what we wanted to concentrate on today would be to think about that mitigation strategies a little bit.
So to do that we're gonna look at a case study and this was the city of Tipton, Indiana which is about an hour north of city of Indianapolis. They have had some flooding issues as recently as 2013, flooding in the city of Tipton. April of 2013 they had a pretty severe flooding.
You see in this picture I think those areas that are flooded. You have the Tipton Hospital which was surrounded by the water, where that water was lapping over to get in. Part of the hospital, part of the Tipton High School the properties were flooded and also water was very close coming to the building.
You can also see a host of homes and house, businesses that are flooded. And of course an interesting thing I should point out in the background, just upstream of water is coming this way to the town is this big large area, what I'd call a storage area. Which is basically undeveloped areas that water used as a storage.
And think about it as we go through what would have happened if we had filled all this area and we didn't have the storage. Where would that water go? Of course, the answer, obvious it would go directly into the town and flood more people. So this is a look at the flood zones that are in Tipton, they're not very uncommon in many areas in rural Indiana as a whole.
You can see that the most of the southern portion of the town is encumbered by floodway. These yellow areas are floodway, those basically zones around this channel that are fast moving. And was required for the flow to carry through the stream. The blue areas are 1% chance floodplain, we call sometimes 100-year floodplain.
And the pink areas are the 0.2% annual chance floodplain which we also refer to as 500-year floodplain. And you can see that we also have highlighted several critical facilities. Such as what I talked about, the school, the hospital, the wastewater treatment plant, fire station, and some other critical facilities that unfortunately are in these floodplains.
And, so, the issue is that when the flooding occurs of course all of these activities and services get impacted. So what is Tipton to do about this? You have 800 plus buildings in the floodplain. We have about eight critical facilities, continued vulnerability to significant flooding. Previous studies that were done to look into, can we have some flood control done?
And I think all of them concluded that there's no really feasible effective solution, cuz the drainage area upstream of this area is pretty large. And so this cannot be solved by some sort of retention pond or a small area just to address all that flooding. The, Climate change, of course, as Bob went through very well, the projections are suggesting that the flood will intensify and get larger.
And so there is of course a desire by the city to be resilient. They want to be an economically viable city despite its floodwater percentage. That takes us to the, Approach for their resilience planning, and which we talk about, and is a focus within the land use planning policy approach because that's what seems to be working.
If you do not have the tools to control the floods, then we have to control what we're doing around the streams. How we went about it was the EPA and FEMA in 2014 did a wonderful work. It's titled Planning for Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont. We took that approach and brought it into Indiana and customized it for our situation because we found it to be one of the really approaches that may work.
We have tried many many approaches in the past. As many of them works sometimes. And so that's why we think it's good. Now, let me tell you just a little bit about the watershed, the Cicero Watershed where this city of Tipton is located. So we can see about 80 square miles in watershed just come, the west part, from the west to the east and many, many tributaries.
Right now you see these are all drainage ditches that were dug because this area used to be a big marsh a couple of hundred years ago. And so we have to make the land appropriate for agriculture use, the land being drained. So it's extensively drained, also extensive farm drainage practices are in effect within the watershed.
The city of Tipton itself of course is confluence of all these drains. The town, like many other cities and towns within Indiana, developed around. A creek or creeks. So of course, note what they're experiencing right now is the flooding is becoming more frequent. And also experiencing severe stream bank erosion along the creek.
Looking at this setting, you can see that really the city cannot, by itself, try to solve all it's problems with flooding. There's so much of the water coming from outside that it's not possible to just do whatever you do here to get rid of it. So that really brings us into this cooperative ways that you have to be thinking.
And resilience strategies that should be devised for several areas in the watershed and in the city. So one of the ways that we engineers or scientists try to solve problems is to make it into small pieces. And try to solve each one of those pieces and try to address each one of the pieces.
And that's one of the approaches taken here. That is if you look at the city of Tipton here in this picture, we tried to make it into different zones. Each one is a distinct zone with distinct issues that it has, or opportunities it has. And try to come up with strategies for each one of them.
I think that may be basically a more practical way and more streamlined way to address the issues. That's what we're trying to do here. So let me introduce to you to what we call resilience planning areas. You see within those boundary of those black lines that you see here, that is the zone that we call river corridor impact areas.
And the river corridor impact areas, it refers to areas that are either encumbered by the floodway or are along the erosional corridor zones. And this erosional corridor zone's are zones that are identified already in the state of Indiana. As a result of work done by Civics Active group and Bob Bar himself is totally involved with this effort.
And what they have done is looked at can we identify areas that are subject to erosion along the rivers? So all these corridors are mapped and already on our website. And so these are areas that we expect either the stream to adjust itself. Or erosion may potentially occurring within those areas or potential for occurrence of it exists.
So where we mapped those areas, this zone that I talked earlier called the impact areas is a combination of these two zones which are the largest. So we're showing all that along the streams. So these areas, the goal for this area, is these are hyper, or super-hazard areas.
The hyper-hazard areas where loss of life is possible because of the fast moving water. Whatever we do in this area would impact others. Not only impact us, but impact others, so the objective here is to stay away from these areas. Basically conserve those lands and prohibit any development in these areas.
Then the next zoning area we're looking at is what's called amber areas, and these are undeveloped, high hazard flood storage areas. And what by that we mean is that these are the areas within 100% chance flood plain, so they're high hazard. But at this moment, luckily they're all vacant, they don't have no development in them.
And what they're doing is they're absorbing our flow. As I showed it in the picture, as you saw this, this was the area basically that the picture was upside down. But you were looking at this area here and it was storing water and that's what I was pointing out.
If the water was not stored here, where would it be? And so, the goal of this area is to keep it open and let it do what it does, which is to store the water. And have the beneficial functions that the floodplains have. The third zone we're talking about here is that, shown in the red, is those vulnerable developed areas.
What we mean by that is that, well yes, the objective is to keep this river impact areas open to keep this storage area open. But what has happened in the past is that we have, prior to designating these zones, have built in those areas. So we've developing these areas, we saw there's hospitals, there's schools, there are a lot of homes.
And so what we call these are, these are vulnerable developed areas, these are developed areas. And I would like to refer to them as kind of a legacy issue. I would like them to be a legacy so that from here on we don't repeat those mistakes. But at any rate, we need to have a strategy for these areas.
What do we do with these areas? And some of the strategies that we looked at, now the goal here is to protect people. The goal here is to make sure that the pain is reduced and when the flooding happens we know what to do. And so some of the strategies we looking at here would be maybe removal of homes.
Or buyout of the homes if they are in low lying areas and they're frequently flooded. If we have a critical facility such as a hospital which is difficult to move, to protect them. Maybe flood proof them, maybe have some levies around them, something to protect them in there.
And also have maybe readiness for response to the flooding in these areas. The next area I want to talk about is, one of the most areas, I think a lot of times, you tell people don't do this, don't do this. And I think this is the time we're saying that do this, that is to go to the safer areas.
They are the areas that are outside of these flood zones. And trying to say here, let's promote developing these areas. If the town needs to be developed, and the town does need to develop, because it needs to have economic development. These are the safer areas in the water shed to develop.
And so the objective, the goal, is to promote these areas, incentivize development in these areas. What kind of strategies can we have for that? For instance, we can extend utilities in these areas, and so incentivize development in these areas. And so, very very important to say where we want development to occur.
So our comprehensive plan, our suggested land zonings, should be triggering these areas as areas of desirable development. Versus those other areas where you wanna preserve and keep as storage. And finally the last portion we'll talk about is the water shed. As you saw, Tipton, like many other towns, receives the water from large, large amount of watersheds.
So we need to have also strategies to reduce or at least keep the water increasing what is coming to the town, so we can get over it. So I want to talk about this water shed a little bit further a little bit later. But here is an example, for instance, of a conceptual flood protection around the Tipton Hospital.
On the left, you see basically a rendering of the hospital the way it looks now. As part of this resilience planning that we did for Tipton, we have some perimeter protection. These are walls or in the back of the hospital there is more berms. And these are proposed conceptually, and so there is openings for these flood walls.
There are where are automatic gates are deployed. If ever you've been in the city of Columbus, Indiana, you could see some of these things at work in those areas. Here's an example of a What we can do with the comprehensive flood response plans to identify ahead of time what roads gets closed, at what point the roads gets closed.
This is an example I think, probably literacy webinar, but nevertheless, are there safe routes that you can identify ahead of time? A lot of times during the flooding we need to ahead of time know where do we take people, what streets to close, and how do we help people to cope with the flooding at the time.
So these are type of strategies, the type of the things can be done in one of those settlements, one of those developed areas. Talked about the watershed and strategies that we can have, the watershed, extremely important. Because particularly in rural communities, a large portion of the watershed is in rural and agricultural city.
And so it's important for us to look into these watershed strategies. So one of the most important things to update, the developing standards to include the no adverse impact measures. And by no adverse impact measures, what we're talking about is what a good neighbor calls something that whatever we do is not hurting anybody else, looking at what impacts do we have.
And so that means when the new development occurs, to have detention ponds that are appropriately sized to include what we call child protection volume, which is kind of a volume retention to address all erosional issues that we have if that one is a lower flow wall in our areas.
That we can keep some of that flow inland as we develop. We have competent storage if some of those videos that undeveloped areas in the flood to have a safe dose and to have no development within the flood waves and original corridors. Also of course important is to incentivize using the LID, low impact development agreement for green infrastructure because why?
Because they can absorb more water in the watershed and infiltrate water. Now, something that to note in particularly important for the rural areas, Is that, remembering that a lot of times many communities with development standards do not apply to farming practices. And that is really an issue because what we are seeing is that we're seeing this increased amount of rainfall that Bob talked about.
Has been basically the response to that by farmers or drainage boards is to okay, well, let's then, improve our drainage infrastructures by having more tiles, having more ditches and more effective ditches. And let's get rid of the water as quick as we can. Well, that getting rid of the water as quick as we can, somebody's receiving that water downstream such as in this case.
And so it's important for us to be able to come up with strategies that will offset those impacts. And these are examples would be soil health conservation practices, agriculture drainage management structures. These are things done on the tile drains itself. Two-stage ditches and probably detention ponds similar to detention ponds that we put it with the developments in the urban areas.
Same thing to go with when the drainage boards or landowners are suggesting to do ditch improvements. This is already happening in Michigan as an example. They're starting to implement those and recognizing that and that also is increasingly close, so what do we do to have no adverse impact.
So in summary, the resilience strategies, if you're looking for communities, has to have some overall strategies, and thus the city wide, and these are looking at the policies, documents, that their comprehensive plans, the mitigation plans and auditing them and making sure they are consistent with it. Resiliency strategies, we talked about adopting specific land use strategies for distinct geographical areas, prohibit disturbance within the river code or impact areas.
Preserve flood storage and minimize impact within those undeveloped high hazard areas. Relocate or protect assets in already developed areas, incentivize development in placement of critical facility and safer areas. And finally, just no adverse impact drainage standards within the entire watershed which is really critical. That's one thing that we can do as people there.
So where do we start? A lot of times we get this question. Okay, we have these strategies we have to do in the watershed, in the town, in the city. Where do we start? And always I come back to this same thing. Let's learn from other. Let's learn there from people, how they fight other hazards.
And in the picture, you see a scene of what you is, unfortunately, we see it more often in the Western United States. And that is those wildfires that you see in most areas. And one of the things, I always ask this question. The first thing that the firefighters do to combat this wildfires, what is it?
Do they jump in and start to put out the fire? Or do they do something else? And the answer is like you see on the left hand side always, well, the first thing the firefighters do is to have basically a fire break, do a fire break. And the reason for that is that they don't want this issue to get bigger.
They don't want the issue to spread outside of those areas. And this is very similar to what we need to be doing, in a way in our floodplains. We need to be preventing the increase of flood vulnerability by preserving those areas that are undeveloped and to stir them to new develop, and then safer areas had no adverse impact.
Anyway, it's saying that enough is enough, let's stop right now. Let's think of those problems that we have, legacy problems. Let's make sure that a least from this moment on, we're not adding to the problems that need to be solved in the future. Preparing for the next flood, flood response plans, education, outreach we talked about and protecting the buildings and infrastructure, relocating or floodproofing.
Only then, after we prevent it, after we prepared, now is the time to get our resources into those areas, but not before. That's the whole message at this point. And so in a nutshell, to become resilient, we need to understand the ecosystem. Identify all vulnerabilities. Take steps to minimize all vulnerabilities and plan for the worst.
They're just seeing is cannot never be higher than now gonna be see this challenge of changing climates and finally this mindset. And we have seen this circle and vicious circle in a way that the community comes in gets flooded and says I need to mitigate this flooding. I go look at this building got flooded, we got to rebuild it.
We got to flood proof it. Only the next month in the next zoning board or next council meeting, we approve another new development into another floodplain somewhere in that community. Well, that just never ends. You cannot continue doing that. You cannot continue taking those things. And I think that's where I talk about changing the mindset.
That is, we need to be thinking. What do we do to make all the problems that we have a legacy problem and start addressing making things not any worse? So I think that's the biggest message Bob and I have for you is to prevent things from getting worse today, so preventing, preparing, and protecting.
Thank you for listening to us, and we are more than glad to answer your questions. Bob?
>> Siavash gets the hard questions.
>> Okay, well thanks to you both. That was fascinating and I think that we all kind of in our souls know, don't put new development in these areas.
But you just presented this really clearly. It doesn't make it easier to do, but it certainly lays it out in a very persuasive way. And as people are thinking about their questions, feel free to type them into the chat box or be ready to offer them orally. I'll start one, which I've put in the chat box.
Which is to either of you guys or both, what do you see as the biggest barriers for local governments to direct new development away from these vulnerable areas? Is it a lack of good information about what those areas are? Do they have legal hurdles, such that they feel like they're forced to approve new development in areas because those areas are legally available for development?
I'd be very interested in your response to that.
>> Go ahead and start Siavash.
>> I can start, and from our experience, cities and towns and most of the communities makes their decisions based on their comprehensive plans, based on their land-use plans. And I would think that it's probably lack of planning, in my opinion.
That is those land-use plans, or those comprehensive plans, probably have not incorporated this kind of resiliency strategies. I think I would say that once they are understood, For instance, the flood zones are known to most people, the erosion areas are known for most people, because they're on line and they just can be accessed.
What is lacking is that incorporating these things into the comprehensive plans and those decision making. And of course you have to stand behind those, of course, the more we educate our constituents, they better understand our decision making. But I think those decisions in cities and towns are made a lot of times consistent with their comprehensive plans, and I think you need to go at it.
>> I think Siavash caught the essence of it. They have a tremendous challenge if they try to appear to be resisting economic development. Many of our rural towns are economically depressed. They're looking for growth, they're looking for strategies. And without a good comprehensive plan in place, and without the desire to enforce it, it becomes very hard to prevent some group from doing something you don´t really wanna have there.
>> And back to my comment that, I think a lot of times people think that, To have economic development is something that exclusive and cannot have it same time with resiliency. I think that's an important thing. I think to me a more desirable place to live is the area that recognizes its vulnerabilities and have done something about it.
And I think recognizing those areas, okay, these are one of the areas we don't wanna be making them larger in that area. And I think that's maybe the key there.
>> So we have Tim Maloney commenting in the chat box that local politics and the influence of developers and builders can push development towards vulnerable areas, and I think that we can understand that.
One question is, what measures you guys would recommend to drainage boards?
>> That's a very good question, and that is something that Bob and I actually have been reassessing more, emphasizing more every opportunity we get. And that is, we know, and I must categorically say this and that's a general statement, that our farmers and our drainage boards, really are do not want to exacerbate issues.
They don't intend to do that, it's just matter of how it was done, every time it's done last hundred years, that's the way we have done it. And that's why we continue doing it. If the situation is that, as Bob mentioned, we are faced with a new challenge right now, in terms of how much flows are increasing, how the things happening.
And we are coming to a head to say, we need to do something about it. I think if the, Challenge for the drainage boards is to understand that there is an impact, first of all, of what we do here. And we are no longer in the era where, let's get rid of the water because they moral.
And we're can't do that because there's always somebody down stream of us. There is always a city, a town and I think this, in the turn of century perhaps there was not many population centers everywhere, along the rivers. But right now we cannot go ahead and say, okay, well let's open this ditch and it will go all the way downstream.
Where do you go? Mississippi River and open everything up, it's not possible.
>> There's always somebody downstream.
>> There's somebody downstream, and I think the challenge then becomes to changing that mindset that, okay, well, maybe we have to do that as part of things. I think that is a process, it's not a easy process.
But I think the more education, the more people understand and start doing this, and then just we have to do better job and outreach of education to the public to understand why you need to spend more money than just maybe to dig the ditch and make it deeper.
Now I have to put some sort of pond in there. And I think this is best done without any regulatory mechanism. I think if we can get convinced that we can do it that way.
>> No, one of the things that we see, Janet, is as Siavash pointed out, these are legacy issues.
I was with a farmer along the Iroquois River in Illinois, just about a week ago, who was telling me, what do we about, there's more water in the river every year. And he looked at me and smiled, and he said, I know, because I'm putting in more drainage myself, so I'm putting more water into the river every year.
But that legacy is difficult to undo, and we have to come up with answers. We have to come up, what can you do? As Siavash mentioned, soil health practices, drainage management are all tools, but it is a new world.
>> Yeah, for sure. So there are several questions that came in about maps that are available.
In particular, do we have 1% flood maps available and consistent statewide? And a related question, do those maps reflect projections for the next 10 to 20 years? Or are they based on historical information, which which we know is an issue. And then a response came in pointing people to the Indiana Floodplain Information Portal.
And you'll just find that link if you go into the chat box. And it says the division of water tries to stay on top of keeping all the information up to date. But that doesn't quite answer the question about, do they reflect future projections or are they based on historical information?
>> Yeah, they are based on historical information. Of course, the more we update, be able to update these maps, the better, closer we get to the
>> Situation, but no they do not have the future hydrology. There are a few states, I think North Carolina is one of them, but they have the show under maps of future hydrology.
And that means that you go through 30, 40 years in front. And then say, well, with the projections we see, here's what we may expect, but not in Indiana. We have very accurate map, by the way. I send kudos to the DNR. Because you may not realize that, but Indiana is nationally at the top of the pyramid in terms of the completeness of their mapping along the thing.
The DNR had done a wonderful job. We have map for every stream more than one square miles and they're all accessible to everybody.
>> Our drainage networks are really remarkable. We're quite fortunate to have them. We get a little bit spoiled when we work outside of Indiana. It's fascinating to find that we can't use the same tools
>> Well, we're all about taking good tools to other places and stealing good tools and bringing them back.
>> Indeed, we are.
>> There was an earlier question I didn't want to skip over it, that said the Tipton case study is really interesting. How are city officials involved in thinking about this and what about the neighboring communities, are they in the conversation too.
And as you guys pointed out, they kind of have to be because Tipton can't stop the water from coming.
>> Yeah, very good question. As a Tipton, when we give the resilience planning for them, the mayor, the council members, the Development Commission, and also a surveyor for the county.
And representative of the Watershed Force were all into those talks when we were doing that and they participated in the doing the planning itself. Tipton is lucky there, there is this big Cicero watershed, there's a joint drainage board and they're very, very, you know, basically advanced in and have higher standards in place.
So definitely, they're working together to see if they, to make sure that these things happen. Now this, the same type of resiliency planning. I will add that it's recently done for Lebanon, and they're also in the Sugar Creek Watershed. And again, the same type of situation is, again, we can not solve these problems unless we are team up with the watershed.
>> Right. That's definitely a question. And I think. That is sometimes challenging and difficult. But you have to do it. There's no other way.
>> So while other people are thinking about questions, I will ask. How many communities in Indiana do you think are actively working on that?
You mentioned there's Tipton you mentioned Lebanon. How many are actually working on this?
>> Well I know the city of Indianapolis also has some some resilience things. And Bob is.
>> I'm counting my fingers here real quick, it's.
>> 10, 12? Yeah. I don't know I really can be, and under different degrees.
>> Right. Different approaches that cities are taking. In term of former resilience planning, I know we done two communities. And city of Indianapolis has one. And they're maybe other towns, but I'm not. But there are, in some ways, the strategies are happening maybe not as a former resilience plan, but it's happening when many of the communities, like, for instance, central Indiana.
And we have County, Hendricks County, Boone County, go up to Tipton County, go up to Lake County. Many of these communities have higher standards in terms of those what I call no adverse impact storm water standards. And they have adopted those standards, and those standards are requiring floodplain, comprehensive floodplain storage.
And they're requiring basically at least, you know, a good detention requirements and requirements at least in those areas. So they're not, you know, addressing all the necessarily aspects. But there are very many communities that have looked into some of those strategies.
>> It is a work in progress, Janet.
We have basin commissions around the state that are all looking and thinking about what they can do to manage the increased risks. So we've got the Kankakee River Basin Commission, St. Joe River Basin Commission, the Maumee River Basin Commission Upper Wabash branch Basin Commission. All of these basin commissions as well are looking at the increase in flooding, the increase in erosion and trying to think about how to manage the hazard.
So a lot of places and different points.
>> Yeah. I'm just wondering how this could be scaled up so that it's no so laborious for every individual community. And in light of that, we have a question that says, how does a city or town get started with identifying the areas in their community that they should preserve for water storage during a flood?
>> Yes, and I would urge you to, and start in your own community some sort of resilience planning. And that you start by looking at those maps published by IDNR, FEMA, the 1% percent chance flood is the areas. And aerial photography on top of that you can see the areas that are already developed and some areas are not developed and just filling in those areas and those areas need to be protected all those.
Also remember that in many areas in our state studies are done, or the I think Notre Dame University in particular did a study on Kankakee Basin and they determined that today´s 100 year flood is basically is tomorrow's 50 year flood right away. Or whatever it is 500 year flood, what 2% chance flood.
It´s very near future, that would be or 100 year flood. So in a way we look at both the 1% chance flood, the flood thing maps and also 500 year and I would look at both of those areas, if there are undeveloped areas in those one, we need to have an overlay zone, in addition to what you have in your floodplain zone, get that delinted.
Adopted as an overlay zone into local regulations saying that okay, development in these areas are prohibited or this these are the type of uses that you can do here open space type of uses. If you need to use it you have to have with your floodplain storage. But that would be the way to do it that is to have it as a layer that you add to your regulations.
>> Yeah, thank you. These suggestions are so concrete, thank you so much. I shouldn't use the word concrete because we don't like concrete.
>> All right, so here's a slightly different question. Have you seen any legal issues being pursued by either landowners or communities who are downstream from other communities who are not taking action to reduce the flow or take proactive measures?
>> We see a lot of threats of it. I don't know that any are actually in court yet. But litigation is clearly coming increasingly the first place people will turn. I had almost said, in the interest time, I didn't put it in. But the questions that we receive as we go into a community usually start with, what's going on here?
Why is this happening? Second is, who's making this happen? And the third question is frequently what do we do about it? Do we need to call the attorney or what do we do? So.
>> And frequently be honest with you I think our approach has been that many things have happened in our watersheds.
We know we have, Gone from maybe open marshland to agricultural land. These are happened. These are things that we have to do at some time, at some point of time for us to develop as a nation. That understood, I think it doesn't help us to go back and see who's responsible for what.
I think the key is to instead of trying to find the guilty party is to start today and say, okay, what has happened has happened in the past. How can we start move from here? And then have it, basically as a group you have to get or say, let's not start having bigger impacts from your here on.
>> Right, let's not fight over it. Let's move forward.
>> Right, but I think it's, as you said, at some point I'm sure those bigger issues are gonna come in there and then. And as people get understanding, their understanding is improved in terms of what impacts what. You're gonna see more of those.
And that's why I'm hoping that we can avert that by thinking, getting as a group, saying that let's start from that.
>> So here's a comment question, please comment on the value of looking at this topic even more broadly. For example, how the interest in and plans for flood resilience, drinking water source protection, and river repairing habitat conservation can coordinate your create mutually beneficial outcomes.
I think that's a great comment, because, there are so many of these practices, whether it's water related, air related, energy related, that have so many benefits, beyond the things that people immediately see. So we really appreciate your thoughts on that comment. Thanks, Tim.
>> And so, we must have a friend in the audience that's heard us talk before.
>> Siavash and I often use the term integrated water resource management. That includes both the beneficial functions, and the risk advert, risk hazard addressment. To look at the watershed as a whole and manage the ecosystem as a whole, this is really about ecosystem and what needs to be managed it both ways.
For sure, absolutely as are all over the issues.
>> All right, well, we're coming up on the hour and I don't think there are any pending questions in the chat room. I guess we didn't really open it up for people to speak a question. Is there anybody who would like to ask a question that didn't put it into the chat room?
>> And please by all means that you know we have our emails addresses are there. I think it's one of the slides and Bob and I always more than glad to help out when we can.
>> Don't hesitate.
>> And you are able to unmute yourselves if you have a question by clicking on a microphone and you hover your mouse over the videos.
>> So we'll just give people a few seconds to get brave here.
>> I think we have done such a wonderful job and nobody has any further questions. That's it.
>> I think we have and I actually thought that the chat room function is an incredibly useful tool and pretty soon we won't actually have to talk to anybody ever because we can just do it all through keystrokes.
Thank you guys, so much for this presentation. Thanks everybody for the great questions. This has been an excellent webinar. Just to remind you, that we do archives, of what we recording. We do archive all of this. And they're available at the Environmental Resilience Institute website, at eri.iu.edu. So tell your friends and neighbors what they missed.
And I think that sharing the slides is great but sharing them along with the explanation from Bob and Siavash is even better. I wanna just mention that we have, we do this every month, so our webinar on June 11th will be on Installing Solar Energy in Your Community.
And on July 9th we'll be planning about planning for electric vehicles. And then because you can never talk about flooding enough, on August 14th we're gonna have a speaker from North Carolina, who's gonna talk about some of the lessons they learned there from their flooding. And in particular how that affected their animal agriculture facilities and coal ash facilities.
So, lots more to come plus also, we are seeking people's input on topics to present because we present the topics that we hear from people they wanna hear about. And so Andrea can tell you, I think, how to contribute to that. I think we'd be interested in both topics and if you have suggestions for speakers that you think would be really good, we'd like to know that too.
So I'm going to say thank you and turn it over to Andrea to close us out.
>> Well thanks, Janet, and thank you so much for that great presentation. All of our attendees, I will be sending a follow up email as usual that will include a link to our topic selection survey that Janet mentioned for our webinar series, along with a few resources related to this topic of flood resilience.
So thank you so much for joining us. And we'll see you again in a month.
>> Thank you.
>> Appreciate it.
>> Bye everybody.
>> Take care.