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Utah's Counties: Sensitivity to Water Hazards

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Created: Jul 22, 2016 at 8:17 p.m.
Last updated: Feb 01, 2017 at 5:39 a.m.
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This dataset contains important categories (per an extensive literature review) in relation to vulnerability to water hazards within Utah at the County level. Although social and physical vulnerability to water hazards (i.e. flooding) data has been collected extensively in many coastal areas, this is a costly problem in Utah and many other non-coastal areas. The variables shown here are categorized by type and collection method. 1. General data is shown for all Counties in Utah. These are taken from the 2010 Census. 2. Literature suggests that there are various approaches which local governments take to mitigate the impacts of flood events. Indicators of these approaches are captured in the section entitled Web Survey. A web survey was conducted of each County. The data includes evaluations of content including water hazard education, land use restrictions described in the code, freeboard requirements, and emergency operations plan implementations. 3. A social vulnerability index as created by the University of South Carolina is shown here. More information can be found at their website. 4. Event data is summarized for number of events and estimated monetary damages. This NOAA dataset helps us understand the nature of past experience and physical exposure to water hazards. Utah's Hazard Mitigation Plan 2014 includes a flood vulnerability score. It is included here for reference but is not critiqued as part of this dataset. 5. Fema has modeling software known as HAZUS which can be used to estimate damages for certain hazards including flooding. A county level summary is included here with estimated of building damage and exposure. 6. Dams are a man-made structure which play a part on flood management and can also create additional exposure. 7. Much of social vulnerability and disaster management should consider those with special needs. Census and the Division of Hazard Mitigation of Utah help us understand more of this important context.

Together these data paint a picture of Utah's vulnerabilities to flood hazards and potential exposure to other natural hazard events. Place level statistics were also collected and add insight at that spatial scale. they can be found here: The variables are different as prescribed in the readme file there.

Further details of the data collection methods can be found in the data dictionary within the spreadsheet workbook or in the ReadMe file included as a resource here.

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Counties of Utah
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:


Additional Metadata

Name Value
Observed Variables County Name, Website has Hazard Information, Hazard info is clear, Hazard info includes map, Hazard info includes community groups, Code includes land use restrictions in flood zones, Code includes freeboard requirement, Freeboard buffer (feet above flood plain), Emergency Operations plan on website, Hazard mitigation plan on website, When was hazard mitigation plan approved, SoVI score 2006-2010, SoVI score as compared to national percentile (2006-2010, SovI score 2000, SoVI score 2000 as compared with national percentile, # water hazard events, # deaths related to water hazards, # injuries related to water hazards, Property damage related to water hazards, Flood Vulnerability Score, Drought vulnerability score, # of dams, # dams with high hazard rating, Dam storage in acre-feet, # with disability, % with disability, # special needs registrants with impaired mobility, # special needs registrants with vision and/or hearing impairment, % population speaking only English at home, % population speaking English less than very well
Variable Description Various County related variables
Data Collection Method 1. Consolidation of Utah dam information from state and federal dam tracking websites.; 2. Web Survey 3. University of South Carolina, Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute 4. NOAA 5. HAZUS 6. Special Needs Summary Report Courtesy of Sheila Curtis, Operations Officer. Division of Emergency Management (


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation iUTAH-innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability 1208732


People or Organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Courtney Flint
Joanna Ganning University of Utah

How to Cite

Wheelwright, M. (2017). Utah's Counties: Sensitivity to Water Hazards, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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