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Florida Building Commission Project

Potential Implications of Sea-Level Rise and Changing Rainfall for Communities in Florida using Miami-Dade County as a Case Study


Project Lead: Jayantha Obeysekera, Ph.D., P.E.

Sponsoring Organizations: Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Building Commission 

florida-flood-1.pngThe overall effort to assess flood risk may be accomplished by comparing existing flood elevations with new elevations based on updated rainfall data and sea-level rise projections. The initial effort was focused on Miami-Dade County to establish an applicable model that can be applied for other areas across the State. For the contract, SLSC evaluated groundwater level due to sea-level rise and changes in extreme rainfall in Miami-Dade County and potential implications for the current Florida Building Code (FBC). The scope the effort included the following tasks:

  • Task 1. Development of average May-October groundwater level maps (used for evaluating flood risks) through groundwater modeling under future sea level rise scenarios
  • Task 2. Updating Existing Rainfall Maps
  • Task 3. Evaluation of the FBC-related requirements

The work associated with this project was done by the following investigators at FIU:

  • Jayantha Obeysekera, P.E. (Director, SLSC, and Principal Investigator)
  • Michael Sukop, P.G., C.Hg. (Professor, Co-PI)
  • Tiffany Troxler, (Director of Science, SLSC, and Co-PI)
  • Michelle Irizarry, P.E. (SLSC Research Affiliate, Owner, Continuity, H2O)
  • Martina Rogers (Ph.D. student)

Final Report

The Florida Building Commission awarded a contract to the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), Institute of Water and Environment (InWE), Florida International University (FIU) to assess whether new flood elevations would increase flood risk due to increasing sea levels and changes in rainfall extremes.