Matt Chambers is a PhD student working under IRIS Director Dr. Brian Bledsoe. His work modeling the impacts of levee setbacks on upstream and downstream communities highlights how natural infrastructure solutions can increase community resilience.
In the past, engineers attempted to prevent rivers from flooding by placing tall walls on either side of them, called levees. However, these structures are known to catastrophically fail during extreme weather events, causing mass flooding in the towns and cities depending on them. The practice of “setting back” levees involves relocating levees back from a river’s banks to leave more room for the river to flood.
Check out the link below for a Q&A with Matt Chambers to learn more about the important work IRIS is doing to rethink riverine flooding.