The purpose of this page is to define compensatory storage, a commonly used term in floodplain management.
The NFIP floodway standard in 44CFR 60.3 (d) restricts new development from obstructing the flow of water and increasing flood heights. However, this provision does not address the need to maintain flood storage. Especially in flat areas, the floodplain provides a valuable function by storing floodwaters. When fill or buildings are placed in the flood fringe, the flood storage areas are lost and flood heights will go up because there is less room for the floodwaters. This is particularly important in smaller watersheds which respond sooner to changes in the topography. One approach that may be used to address this issue is to require compensatory storage to offset any loss of flood storage capacity. Some communities adopt more restrictive standards that regulate the amount of fill or buildings that can displace floodwater in the flood fringe. Community Rating System credits are available for communities that adopt compensatory storage requirements.
- IS-9 Managing Floodplain Development Through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (page 6-21)