Sixty years ago, the Texas Water Development Board was tasked to learn about or manage everything being done across the state to meet our water needs. It was the dawn of an era of planning for water shortages.
With several major floods hitting the state in recent years and especially in the aftermath of Harvey, the Texas Water Development Board faces a new charge, one that is just as serious and historic – the development of the first-ever statewide flood plan.
In the past, state water plans have focused on what to do in the event of water shortages, often caused by draught. The statewide flood pan, for which lawmakers have appropriated $600,000, will begin with a high-level overview of flood risks and responses. The state water plan overall receives $15 million every five years.
“Part of [the flood plan] assessment is going to be – what should we be doing going forward? Should we have a flood planning process similar to what we do in the form of thestate water plan, for example,” Bruun says.
Bruun says the water board's assessment will include input form local jurisdictions and other entities affected by flooding.
"There will be active stakeholder involvement," he says. "We're going to reach out to all those locals that we're talking about, and try to see if they have projects that they would like to try to build. Or, if not, try to work with them to identify strategies that they maybe should build out in the future."
Written by Shelly Brisbin.