Project B3-1: Flood Risk to Assets and Socioeconomic Sectors in a Changing World: Prevention, Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies


Mazdak Arabi, PhD

Colorado State University
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Mahshid Ghanbari, PhD

Colorado State University
Civil & Environmental Engineering

This project evaluates the increasing flood risk due to co-occurrence of heavy precipitation and storm surge in low laying coastal areas miami-floodingof the US. The analysis is conducted based on high-resolution data and models for terrain, land use land cover, climate, hydrology, built and natural infrastructure systems as well as socioeconomic information. Risks to major and catastrophic events along with nuisance flooding are characterized for the near future, mid-century and late-century conditions.

The assessment incorporates scenarios for population change, economic growth, sea-level rise, and climate change.

Key objectives of the study are to assess the physical, social and economic vulnerabilities, social environmental justice implications, and impacts of solutions such as sustainable drainage networks (SUDS) and green infrastructure (GI) on mitigating the increasing risk to flooding events.

Journal Articles

Ghanbari, M., Arabi, M., Kao, S.C., Obeysekera, J., & Sweet, W. (2021). Climate Change and Changes in Compound Coastal-Riverine Flooding Hazard Along the U.S. Coasts. Earth’s Future, 9, e2021EF002055, https://doi. org/10.1029/2021EF002055

Ghanbari, M., Arabi, M., Obeysekera, J., & Sweet, W. (2019). A coherent statistical model for coastal flood frequency analysis under nonstationary sea level conditions. Earth’s Future, 7, 162–177.

Ghanbari, M., Arabi, M., and Obeysekera, J. (2020). Chronic and acute coastal flood risks to assets and communities in southeast Florida. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 2020, 146(7): 04020049, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE) WR.1943-5452.0001245.

Ghanbari, M., Arabi, M., Georgescu, M., Broadbent, A. M. (under review [2022].) “The Role of Climate Change and Urban Development on Future Across U.S. Cities” Submitted to Nature Communications

Olson, C., Ghanbari, M., Arabi, M., and Roesner, L. (2022). “Appraisal of Steady-State Stormwater Control Measure Pollutant Removal Models within a Dynamic Stormwater Routing Framework.” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 148(4).

Updated: October 2022

News Articles

As Sea Levels Rise, Expect More Floods

Mayor de Blasio Releases NYC’s First-Ever Citywide Analysis of Rainfall-Based Flooding and Plan for Future Flood Preparedness

Updated: May 2021



Ghanbari, Mahshid (2021). Nonstationary Flood Risk Assessment in Coastal Regions Under Climate Change, PhD Dissertation, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Web:

Updated: June 2021




Arabi_Mazdak_ProfileMazdak Arabi, PhD – Principal Investigator

Borland Professor of Water Resources
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Colorado State University
Voice: (970) 491-4639

Dr. Mazdak Arabi is the Borland Endowment Professor of Water Resources in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at CSU. He serves as the Director of CSU’s One Water Solutions Institute.  His research, educational, and engagement activities are primarily focused on the development of decision support systems for sustainable management of water resources. Dr. Arabi has developed novel system identification and optimization approaches to facilitate development of solutions for reliable and resilient regional water systems. He is the principal inventor of the environmental Resources Assessment and Management System (eRAMS), a cloud-computing technology for integration of location-based information with simulation models of water, food, and energy systems. The eRAMS platform currently supports more than 200 analytics and decision tools that have been developed in collaboration with other research institutions as well as federal, state and local government agencies.  Dr. Arabi also serves as the Director of several major research programs, including the National Science Foundation’s Urban Water Innovation Network, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Comprehensive, optimal and Effective Abatement of Nutrients (CLEAN Center), and the Water Sustainability & Climate Center.


Mahshid Ghanbari, Postdoctoral Researcher

Colorado State University

Dr. Mahshid Ghanbari is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Colorado State University. Her research interests are in the area of flood risk analysis and modeling, multi-hazard risk analysis, and stormwater modeling and management. Mahshid’ s research primarily focuses on developing nonstationary probability models for understanding the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on future flood risk.