Santa Clara Valley Water District

Climate Change and Flood Risk Management

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The U.S. Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. As the law is implemented, some of these changes have already occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates (up to 25% for some) to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some - but not all -- policyholders over time.

  1. This site provides notification of the changes that the NFIP will implement effective October 1, 2013, including modifications to the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual, Policy Forms, Transaction Record Reporting and Processing (TRRP) Plan, and the Edit Specifications document. Highlights include the following:

    • Revised premium rates
    • New Reserve Fund assessment
    • Exclusion of certain properties from receiving subsidized premium rates
    • No extension of subsidy to new policies or lapsed policies
    • Increased Federal Policy Fee
    • Updated requirements for new business Applications and TRRP Plan
    • NFIP Form changes


  2. Impact of Climate Change and Population Growth on the National Flood Insurance Program through 2100 - Study done for FEMA by AECOM, June 2013

  3. This NY Times Article, Rebuilding After Sandy, but With Costly New Rules, provides some insights on the implications of these new rules.

  4. Community Rating System 2013 Changes Promote Flood Resiliency: Starting April 1, 2013, FEMA starts to implement the 2013 Coordinator's Manual. Over 10 weeks ago, over 20 floodplain administrators' participated in the CRS System Changes 2013 Manual Workshop. The workshop highlighted new emphasis on risk awareness, preservation of open space and natural functions, and higher regulatory standards. These revisions:

    • Doubles credits for open space preservation (from 725 to 1450 points),
    • More than triples the credits (from 100 points to 350) for preserving natural and beneficial functions of floodplain,
    • Adds 1330 credits for development limitations to encourage communities to enact and implement higher regulatory standards for flood resiliency,
    • More than triples credits for protecting natural functions, and prohibiting fill in the floodplain, including not approving letters of map revisions based on fill.

All CRS cities could benefit from these greater incentives to provide flood resiliency for its community.

San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study

FEMA started the San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study. It includes both regional hydrodynamic and wave modeling of the San Francisco Bay, as well as detailed onshore coastal analysis used to estimate wave run up and overtopping, as well as overland wave propagation. These onshore analyses will form the basis for potential revisions to the Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) within the coastal areas.

State's California Flood Future Draft

Over the last 60 years, California has experienced more than 30 major flood events, resulting in more than 300 lives lost, more than 750 injuries and billions of dollars in disaster claims. With many more structures per square mile in our urban areas, California would likely see much higher recovery costs from a major storm than the $110 billion that has been spent on recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The State Department of Water Resources released public review draft of California's Flood Future: Recommendations for Managing the State's Flood Risk report. Flood risk awareness, emergency preparedness and land-use planning practices that reduce the consequences of flooding and integrated approach are key recommendations in the draft.

Links on these pages go to sites of interest to the staff of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Listing a site on these pages does not constitute an endorsement by the District.

Created and maintained by Bob Teeter, District Librarian; organized by Sarah Young

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