Estimating Surge-Based Flood Risk with the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment Model

Published in: Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 67 - Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan Technical Analysis, Summer 2013, p. 109-126

Posted on on August 01, 2013

by David R. Johnson, Jordan R. Fischbach, David S. Ortiz

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal of Coastal Research

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment model (CLARA) was designed to facilitate comparisons of current and future flood risk under a variety of protection system configurations in a wide range of environmental, operational, and economic uncertainties. It builds on previous studies of coastal risk by incorporating system fragility and a larger number of future scenarios than previously analyzed. Flood depths and direct economic damage from a wide range of simulated storm events are aggregated to produce a statistical summary of coastal risk under different assumptions about future conditions. CLARA's estimates of project-level effects on flood risk reduction were used as one of the key decision drivers in selecting the risk reduction projects included in the Master Plan. Depending on the scenario, the final alternative is projected to reduce expected annual damage by approximately 60 to 80% during the next 50 years relative to a future without action and, at the same time, balance other decision criteria.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.