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Texas’ Amended Regional Flood Plan Recommendations Total Over $54B

A flooded roadway in Travis County
A flooded roadway in Travis County
AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has approved amendments to the first-ever regional flood plans that recommend additional solutions to reduce the risk and impact of flooding across the state, bringing the total estimated cost of flood risk reduction solutions for all 15 planning regions to more than $54 billion.

Due to the highly compressed timeframe in which these first-ever regional flood plans were required to be produced, the board later granted the regional groups an extra six months and provided additional grant funding for data collection, public outreach, and recommended flood risk mitigation solutions. As a result of the extension, the regional flood planning groups recommended over 750 additional flood management evaluations and more than 400 additional flood mitigation projects.

The amended regional flood plans include a total of 3,097 recommended flood management evaluations, 615 flood mitigation projects, and 771 flood management strategies with non-recurring non-capital costs.

The flood planning and water supply planning processes are similar, each taking a bottom-up approach to developing locally-led, regional flood plans that are summarized by the TWDB into the state plans every five years. And while they rely on very different parameters, data, models, and technical analyses, some flood risk reduction solutions intersect with water supply planning.

Initially, none of the regional flood plans included recommended flood mitigation projects that could also contribute to water supply development, but in the amended regional flood plans, Region 11 Guadalupe, Region 12 San Antonio, and Region 15 Lower Rio Grande included more than 30 flood mitigation projects that could provide water supply benefits if implemented.

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“While the main focus of the regional flood plans is identifying solutions to reduce the risk of flooding, we’re excited to see planning groups explore solutions that could also provide water supply benefits,” said Reem Zoun, Director of Flood Planning at the TWDB.

One example of a project included in the regional plans that could provide both flood mitigation and water supply benefits is the use of detention ponds over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zones that could be used to recharge the aquifer depending on conditions.

All of the flood risk reduction solutions recommended in the amended regional flood plans are anticipated to be included in the 2024 State Flood Plan, making them eligible for funding through the Flood Infrastructure Fund.

Texas' first state flood plan, which will summarize the findings from the regional flood planning groups, will be delivered to the legislature by September 1.

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