Levee Safety

On This Page:

The Levee Safety Initiative

Important Levee Groups

Levee Safety Tools

United States Levee Safety Coalition

International Levee Handbook


 

The Levee Safety Initiative

ASDSO strongly supports the Levee Safety Initiative established in the US Army Corps of Engineers by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) (click here for a PDF of the levee safety portions of the WRRDA Conference Report). This Initiative establishes many of ASDSO's priorities for a National Levee Safety Program. ASDSO has been working with partners to promote the work of the National Committee on Levee Safety (NCLS) and advocate for the creation of a National Levee Safety Program. In 2006 the voting membership of ASDSO approved a resolution supporting the creation of a National Levee Safety Program. In addition, at their March 2009 meeting, the ASDSO Board of Directors voted to support the recommendations contained in the NCLS January 2009 Draft Report to Congress. The voting membership reaffirmed ASDSO support for a National Levee Safety Program in 2012.


 

Important Levee Groups

The United States Levee Safety Coalition
The United States Levee Safety Coalition is a group of professional organizations that have joined together to support and advance levee safety in the United States of America. This coalition is committed to the common cause of preserving and protecting public safety, life and property, through the responsible engineering design, construction, operation, maintenance, management and removal of parts or portions of the existing and future vast levee infrastructure system in the United States. (Learn More Below)

National Committee on Levee Safety
The NCLS is a committee of federal, state, local, and private sector members with the direction from Congress to prepare recommendations and a strategic implementation plan on a National Levee Safety Program.


 

Levee Safety Tools

National Levee Database
The National Levee Database (NLD), developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is the focal point for comprehensive information about our nation's levees. Authorized by Congress in 2007, the database contains information to facilitate and link activities, such as flood risk communication, levee system evaluation for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), levee system inspections, flood plain management, and risk assessments. The NLD continues to be a dynamic database with ongoing efforts to add levee data from federal agencies, states, and tribes. Note - The NLD currently contains the majority of levees within the USACE program, however, it does not contain all levees located in the United States.


 

United States Levee Safety Coalition

The United States Levee Safety Coalition (Coalition) is a group of professional organizations that have joined together to support and advance levee safety in the United States of America. This coalition is committed to the common cause of preserving and protecting public safety, life and property, through the responsible engineering design, construction, operation, maintenance, management and removal of parts or portions of the existing and future vast levee infrastructure system in the United States.

The mission of the Coalition is the advancement of levee safety across the country through:

  • Good engineering practices,
  • Sound public policy; and,
  • Increased awareness and education within communities of practice and the public.

The original members of the Coalition are the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA), the United States Society on Dams (USSD), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The original signed Charter for the Coalition provides additional information on the mission, goals, authority and membership of the Coalition.
 

Coalition Activities

Legislative Advocacy - The beginnings of the Coalition occurred in August 2013 when representatives of ASCE, ASDSO, NAFSMA and USSD met to discuss collaborating on further activities and issues related to levee safety. At that meeting, the group drafted a letter to the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee expressing support for a National Levee Safety Program.

International Levee Handbook Webinar Series - From January 2015 through August 2015, ASDSO and USSD, in cooperation with the other members of the Coalition and the USACE, co-sponsored monthly webinars on individual ILH chapters. Go to the International Levee Handbook page for links to the recordings and presentations of the webinars.

Training - ASDSO/USSD Sponsored Levee Safety Workshops - ASDSO and USSD, with support from the US Levee Safety Coalition, hosted coordinated workshops on levee safety in September and November of 2015. Go to the ASDSO and USSD Levee Safety Workshops page for more information.

EUCOLD Working Group on Levees Report, U.S Chapters - The US Levee Safety Coalition has been asked to prepare a chapter on levees in the United States for a report being prepared by the European Club of the International Commission on Large Dams (EUCOLD) Working Group on Levees. The report is titled “European Levees and Flood Defenses, Inventory of characteristics, risks and governance.” A target completion date is May 2017. The report will consist of chapters prepared by individual countries. Each chapter will follow the same format and address the nine topics outlined below.

        1.1 Facts and figures on levees and flood defenses
        1.2 Protected value, safety standards and flood risk
        1.3 Recent major floods and (near-)failures of levees
        1.4 Legislation and governance
        1.5 Guidelines and good practices
        1.6 Common practices during Levee Life Cycle
        1.7 Critical knowledge and data gaps; critical research needs
        1.8 Summary of key facts
        1.9 References (per country)


 

International Levee Handbook

The International Levee Handbook (ILH) is a compendium of good practice, offering comprehensive guidance on the design, construction, maintenance and improvement of levees and describing the international state of the art on these matters. Also, it offers a decision support framework for competent engineers, rather than a prescriptive decision making code of practice, looking at specific challenges during the life cycle of levees. Members of the U.S. Levee Safety Coalition—ASDSO, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US Society on Dams (USSD), the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies, the Deep Foundations Institute, the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the US Army Corps of Engineers—fully support and endorse the ILH. Click here to view the webinar series.
 

Webinar Series on the ILH

Members of the U.S. Levee Safety Coalition sponsored a series of webinars on the ILH starting in January 2015 and running through August 2015. Webinars were offered generally monthly working through all ten chapters and all of the webinars were recorded and archived for future reference. Each webinar covered a specific topic presented by lead authors of the ILH. The webinars were complimentary and open to the general public as are the recorded versions. Please visit the Training Center to view the following webinars:

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction (Jonathan Simm) 
  • Chapter 2 - Levees in Flood Risk Management (Jonathan Simm) 
  • Chapter 3 - Function, Forms and Failures of Levees (Jamie McVicker) 
  • Chapter 4 - Operation and Maintenance (Rachel Orellana) 
  • Chapter 5 - Levee Inspection, Assessment and Risk Attribution (Chris Neutz) 
  • Chapter 6 - Emergency Management and Operations (Yazmin Seda-Sanabria)
  • Chapter 7 - Site Characterization and Data Requirements (Rosemary Schmidt & Andy Gaines)
  • Chapter 8 - Physical Processes and Tools for Levee Assessment and Design (Guillaume Veylon)
  • Chapter 9 - Design (Philip Smith & Andy Gaines)
  • Chapter 10 - Construction (Joe Forbis)

Professional Development Hours: Certificates of Attendance for Professional Development Hours (PDH) were issued from ASDSO on behalf of the U.S. Levee Safety Coalition for the live webinars but they are not available for the recorded versions.

 

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