The first step of formulating a basin flood management plan is to consider the framework of national flood management vision and policy in which the basin plan will be embedded.
The national flood management vision usually starts with the development of a common view of the future and may include defined objectives, and policies, legislation and practice that would help translate them into realistic goals. The vision can be applied at a regional (inter-country) level, a shared watercourse level (internal river basin), a national level or a local level (sub-catchment).
Policies are more detailed than a vision. A national flood management policy provides a framework, gives direction for overall flood management in the country and facilitates coordination among various sectors and institutions involved/ related to flood issues. Typically a national flood management policy explains or defines:
- the rivers of the policy
- the present and future role floods and flood plains play in the economy of the country/region
- the contribution of flood management to national development
- the authorities and institutions responsible for the different aspects flood management
- the sharing of flood management costs between federal, state, and local governments on one hand and the individual on the other