What is the Blueprint?

The Flood Resiliency Blueprint is a statewide initiative to develop an online-decision support tool and associated planning to address flooding for communities in North Carolina’s river basins.

The Blueprint is a first-of-its-kind program in North Carolina and represents the largest statewide flood mitigation investment in state history.

When completed, the Blueprint will lead to an actionable set of projects and funding strategies that state and other government entities can implement to reduce flooding, mitigate the impacts of flooding, and increase a community’s ability to maintain and quickly resume pre-storm activities following flooding. By making impacts from mitigation strategies clear, the Blueprint will help decision makers from the State level to individual communities make more informed choices when dealing with flooding. 

The blueprint is funded through a $20 million allocation to the Department of Environmental Quality Division of Mitigation Services from the North Carolina General Assembly.

Blueprint Goals

The flood resiliency blueprint will accomplish several key goals, including:

  • Develop community and basin-specific risk management processes to identify and address flooding for NC communities.
  • Develop an online decision support tool which seamlessly guides state, county, municipal, and other jurisdictions to identify and select flood mitigation strategies responsibly, systematically, equitably, and transparently.
  • Establish a repeatable, statewide methodology for prioritizing, and selecting flood mitigation strategies for future implementation.

Blueprint Strategies:

  • Draft Blueprint Framework Document:  Outlines a process for conducting flood resiliency planning at multiple scales which can be applied anywhere in the state, taking into account NC basins have different flood exposure, data and modeling needs, and/or capacity. Includes workflow model for River Basin Action Strategy Development and recommendations for the long-term administration of the Blueprint process.
  • Online Decision Support Tool:  Develop an online decision support tool to allow end users (e.g., state agencies and regional and local governments) to seamlessly visualize flood vulnerability for different flood risk conditions and choose from a suite of flood mitigations strategies (e.g., nature-based solutions, structural and nonstructural approaches, etc.) based on the quality of the data and models available. The tool is expected produce output products like such as planning-level cost estimates and potential funding sources, and help with tasks such as evaluating costs/benefits across basin and sub-basin scales throughout the state. 
  • Basin-specific Action Strategies: Develop River Basin Action Strategies for prioritized major river basins in NC to validate the decision support tool and identify priority geographic areas for additional modeling efforts to support a common, statewide model.

The Blueprint also benefits from the input and advice of over 100 subject matter experts who serve on six Technical Advisory Groups. TAG members include representatives from a diverse set of backgrounds, including from Federal, State, County, Municipal, and Tribal governments; non-governmental organizations; and universities.

For more information on TAGs and to see a list of members, click here.

Next Steps

The Blueprint project is split into phases, the first of which began in December 2022.

  • Phase Two will complete development of the online decision support tool. Phase two began in November 2023 and is expected to be complete by December 2024. 

  • Phase Three will see the application of the Blueprint planning framework and online decision support tool in additional priority river basins. This will include action strategies for targeted basins, which will also be used to test and validate the online support tool. Phase three will begin within the first half of 2024.

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