The feasibility of restoring previously drained wetlands to reduce flood damage

Steven D. Shultz, Jay A. Leitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The economic feasibility of restoring previously drained wetlands to reduce flood damage was evaluated in North Dakota's Maple River Watershed, a sub-watershed of the Red River Valley of the North. Benefit-cost ratios ranging from 0.2 to 0.7 were not adequate to make simple wetland restoration - based on plugging existing drains, restoration with outlet control devices, or complete restoration intended to provide a full range of wetland-based environmental services - economically feasible over a 20-year future period. Peak flood stage and flood damage would need to be reduced by 3.3% to 8% in order for wetland restoration options to break-even and the inclusion of likely non-flood related wetland benefits did not improve feasibility. It is not recommended that public funds be used for extensive wetland restoration projects throughout Maple River Watershed or across large areas of the Red River Valley for the purpose of reducing flood damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume58
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Flooding
  • Red River Valley
  • Wetland restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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