The State Flood Assessment, a report that will be completed by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) by December 2018, will include a history of flooding in Texas; the roles of local, state, and federal agencies relative to preparing for, mitigating, and recovering from floods; a summary of planning and infrastructure needs; and stakeholder input on how flood planning should proceed in the state.
This first step toward developing comprehensive flood planning for Texas does not seek to fund specific strategies or projects related to flood planning, mitigation, warning, or recovery. Instead, this effort seeks to obtain and communicate, via a flood assessment report, the information that will determine the need for and benefits of statewide flood planning and financial investment.
Three goals drive this effort:
- assess risks and roles,
- estimate flood mitigation costs, and
- determine the future of flood planning in Texas.
Several opportunities for input and engagement will be available throughout March and April 2018, including eight regional workshops, one-on-one meetings, water-related conferences, and an online survey. The online survey aims to gather information from the more than 1,200 floodplain managers in the state and other individuals that assist with flood planning on community-specific flood risks; current and planned flood planning, mitigation, and protection activities; and the financial needs tied to those activities, plus input on policy considerations and future flood planning needs in Texas.
The survey will be conducted in two phases:
- an initial, more general survey distributed to all stakeholders (closed on April 30) and
- a secondary, more detailed survey sent to stakeholders who identified their willingness to provide additional information.
TWDB, with the support of state leadership and the legislature, has invested in a variety of programs to increase data collection, data dissemination, and studies to support improved flood forecasting and warning throughout Texas. The next important step in preparing Texas to reduce the impacts of flood hazards is to develop a comprehensive understanding of existing programs, risks, and needs for floodplain management and mitigation across the state.