Expert Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 154

Evaluation of the Predictive Ecological Model for the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan: An Interim Report as Part of Phase 2 (2016)

The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of water for drinking in the San Antonio area, and supplies the two largest freshwater springs in Texas, Comal Springs and San Marcos Springs. Both spring systems are used for recreation and are home to several species of fish, amphibians, insects, and plants found nowhere else. Eight Edwards Aquifer species are on the federal Endangered Species List because they are vulnerable to reduced spring flow... More >>

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits (2015)

Graywater and stormwater capture and use can expand local water availability while providing additional benefits, such as reduced water pollution (for stormwater) and a drought-resistant year-round water supply (for graywater). Treatment can help address contaminants in the water, but a lack of risk-based treatment guidelines hinders the broader use of stormwater and graywater, this report finds. There is no single best way to use graywater o... More >>

Report in Brief

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 2 (2015)

Drawing on lessons learned from a proof-of-concept analysis, this report proposes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency develop a microsimulation model--which will use a database of records for individual policyholders and property owners to mimic how policy decisions might affect those individuals--to simulate the effects of different National Flood Insurance Program affordability policy options. The report also notes, however, that som... More >>

Report in Brief

A Community-Based Flood Insurance Option (2015)

Part of the conversation regarding National Flood Insurance Program reform is the prospect of a community-based flood insurance option--a single insurance policy for an entire community--which may be more effective and less expensive than administering separate policies for each property within a given community. This report identifies key issues and questions as "food for thought" for FEMA and Congress as they weigh both the possible benefit... More >>

Report in Brief

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplains (2015)

One-fifth of the National Flood Insurance Program's 5.5 million policies cover structures that existed before floodplain maps became available. These older structures receive subsidized rates that are lower than warranted by their risk of flooding. However, most are low lying (negatively elevated)--that is, the elevation of the lowest floor is lower than the NFIP benchmark for construction standards and floodplain management ordinances. Low-lyin... More >>