The state of Texas wants local communities to help develop new plans to manage flooding risks to life and property. A team from the Texas Water Development Board has been traveling the state on a listening tour.
On Thursday, TWDB representatives presented proposed flood control projects and strategies. And they collected informal feedback from the 25 people who attended the meeting at the Abilene Convention Center.
Kathleen Ligon, Special Assistant to the Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, says in part, the state is implementing a new regional flood planning process, to address the threat across the variety of landscapes, unique to different parts of the state. "We'll be dividing up the state by river basin, and so there'll be a group of local stakeholders that actually gets together and they will be responsible for doing the planning for their river basin." Abilene is in the Brazos River Basin. And Ligon says since the Brazos River Basin is large they're considering dividing it into two, "The advantage of that is that upstream, some of the smaller communities won't have to compete with larger communities downstream."
The TWDB is also working on a financial assistance program. The legislature has approved $793 million dollars for the Flood Infrastructure Fund. That fund will provide grants and low-cost loans to help local governments pay for drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.
For those unable to attend a session in person, the Texas Water Development Board will hold two webinars on Monday, August 19th, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Viewers can submit questions and comments through email during the live broadcast of the presentation. Details of what is under consideration can be found here.
Residents can submit formal, written comments here. The deadline for comments is August 30th.