Southern California is increasingly vulnerable to flooding disasters due to a combination of factors including sea level rise and global climate change. As flood risk changes, so must flood preparation strategies. UC Irvine’s FloodRISE project merges innovative technology with community collaboration to support civic leaders, practitioners, and residents in planning for and responding to a new generation of flooding events.

In response to the dramatic transformation of California’s hydrologic conditions, engineers at UC Irvine have developed new computer modeling technology to aid communities in managing flood risk. This pioneering technology improves both accuracy and nuance in flood planning by providing parcel-level information about the depth and extent of flooding under a variety of conditions. The FloodRISE project assists flood-prone communities by coupling this detailed information about flood risk with communications strategies tailored to local conditions.

Flood planning is best achieved when leaders are well-informed and impacted communities are prepared. Information-sharing enabled through FloodRISE will help leaders and residents of Southern California’s two largest estuaries, the Newport Beach and Tijuana River estuaries, to make cost-effective infrastructure and individual decisions. Though the timing of Southern California’s next major flooding event is uncertain, the FloodRISE project represents a critical first step in research and information-sharing to develop more flood-resilient communities.