Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The 100 Year Flood Is Not What You Think It Is (Maybe)

The 100 Year Flood

A one-​hundred-year ​flood is ​a ​flood ​event that has ​a 1% probability ​of occurring in ​any given year. ​
Being able to ​characterize ​flood risks is ​a crucial job ​of civil ​engineers. ​Engineering ​hydrology has ​equal parts ​statistics and ​understanding ​how society ​treats risks. ​
Sometimes ​there’s ​not enough ​water, like in ​a drought or ​just an arid ​region, but we ​also need to be ​prepared for ​the times when ​there’s ​too much water, ​a flood. ​Rainfall and ​streamflow have ​tremendous ​variability and ​it’s the ​engineer’​s job to ​characterize ​that so that we ​can make ​rational and ​intelligent ​decisions about ​how we develop ​the world ​around us.