Impact of Agricultural Levees on Flood Elevations

by Brad Hall, Hydraulics Lab, Vicksburg, United States,
Frank Y. Tsai, Hydraulics Lab, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Agricultural levees are used in many low-lying areas to protect farmlands from floods. The levees are often constructed, maintained, and improved on an ad hoc basis by farmers or with the assistance of Government flood protection programs. Since these levees are often located within the regulated floodway designated on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map, a significant conflict may exist between local agricultural interests and the floodway objectives of the National Flood Insurance Program. The Hydraulics Laboratory at the US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station is studying the impact of agricultural levees on flood hazard. A numerical one-dimensional dynamic simulation model is being developed to simulate the passage of the flood wave, levee overtopping and breaching, and the interaction between the timing and the volume of water that leaves the active conveyance of the main river channel into overbank storage behind the agricultural levees. The model will be used to assess the impact of various levels of conveyance and floodplain storage reduction due to the presence of agricultural levees on water surface elevations for a range of flood magnitudes. This paper will describe and document the study approach.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Irrigation water | Hydrologic models | Water storage | Agriculture | Levees and dikes | Floods | Water waves

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