TWDB State Flood Plan – Lower Brazos Region 8

Frequently Asked Questions

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In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 8 directing the creation of the first-ever State Flood Plan for Texas. The preparation of this new flood plan is being led by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and follows a similar regional approach used for water supply planning in Texas for the past 20 years. As part of this effort, TWDB will establish a clearinghouse of information about state and federal flood planning, mitigation, and control programs that may serve as sources of funding for flood projects.

TWDB has designated fifteen (15) flood planning regions within the state based on the corresponding river basins (click here to reference TWDB map). The overarching goal of regional flood planning, and the comprehensive state flood plan that will result from the plans created by these regions, is to protect against loss of life and property from flooding. The first State Flood Plan is due to the Legislature by September 1, 2024, and will be updated every five years thereafter.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is a state agency formed in 1957 in response to Texas’ record-breaking drought. Based on the most recent legislative session, the agency’s main responsibilities include the following: assisting with regional water planning and preparing the state water plan every five years; assisting with regional flood planning and preparing the state flood plan every five years; collecting, analyzing, and distributing water-related and geographic data; and providing loan and grant money for Texas water, wastewater, and flood projects.

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The Lower Brazos Flood Planning Region (Region 8) represents 43 counties and 191 communities located at least partially within the basin. Twelve voting members, appointed by the TWDB Executive Director, serve on the Lower Brazos Flood Planning Group and represent the following interest categories: Agriculture, Counties, Electric Generating Utilities, Flood Districts, Industries, Municipalities, General Public, River Authorities, Small Businesses, Water Districts and Water Utilities. The primary role of the Lower Brazos Flood Planning Group is to develop a regional flood plan for the Region 8 Lower Brazos Flood Planning Region that identifies flood risks, establishes flood mitigation and floodplain management goals, and recommends evaluations, strategies, and projects to reduce flood risks.

Similar to Texas’ state water supply planning process, the State Flood Plan will be based on regional flood plans developed by local stakeholders representing diverse interests. The Lower Brazos Regional Flood Plan is due to the TWDB by January 10, 2023 and will be incorporated into the overall State Flood Plan.

The ultimate goal of conducting regional flood planning is to protect the public against loss of life and property damage from flooding events; the comprehensive state flood plan will be based on the flood plans created by each of the 15 regions. The Lower Brazos Regional Flood Planning Group will develop a regional flood plan that meets TWDB requirements and also establishes a solid foundation for future TWDB flood planning cycles, based on flood-related characteristics in the Lower Brazos Region.

The key tasks to be accomplished through the Regional Flood Plans include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Gather and analyze data to create an accurate depiction of the basin’s characteristics;
  • Identify existing and future flood risks across the basin;
  • Evaluate current floodplain management practices by entities within the basin (regulations to prevent future flood problems); and,
  • Recommend flood mitigation strategies and projects to address existing and future flood issues in the basin.

No, floodplain modeling is not included in the Scope of Work developed by TWDB for this first State Flood Plan for the Lower Brazos Flood Planning Region. This regional plan will include recommendations for flood management evaluations (engineering studies), flood management strategies and flood mitigation projects based on the information collected from stakeholders across the flood planning region.

The Texas GLO is currently conducting the Combined River Basin Flood Studies across the counties that received a presidential disaster declaration due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. This one-time study is focusing on the following goals in order to better prepare communities for future flood impacts associated with extreme weather events:

  • Evaluates flood risk information;
  • Develops cost-effective mitigation strategies; and,
  • Identifies possible funding sources for future mitigation projects to support resiliency and growth.

This study complements and will work in conjunction with TWDB’s Regional Flood Planning Groups, including the sharing of flood data through the Texas Disaster Information System (TDIS), a critical tool used by the state to assist communities. Information collected for this regional flood plan will be shared with the GLO study consultant to avoid the duplication of data collection efforts. The target completion date for the Texas GLO Combined River Basin Flood Studies is Summer 2024.

The Lower Brazos Regional Flood Planning Group is seeking participation and input from everyone knowledgeable of and affected by flooding issues in the basin. Visit the Lower Brazos Regional Flood Planning Group website (www.lowerbrazosflood.org) to provide information on the interactive map.

This regional plan will serve as a roadmap for flood planning in your river basin; its success depends on your involvement! The plan will assess flood risk in your community and potential mitigation strategies and measures. The plan will recommend studies, where needed, to evaluate flooding problems and identify potential solutions in greater detail. More importantly, proposed flood mitigation projects must be included in the Regional and State Flood Plans in order to be eligible for State financial assistance.

Flood mitigation projects tend to focus on avoiding or reducing the negative impacts from flood water during and shortly after high rainfall events. Water supply projects focus on providing reliable water supply throughout periods of extremely low rainfall. A potential project that would capture flood water and store it to be used later for water supply could be evaluated as part of water supply planning, as well as flood management.

No, the State Flood Plan will not produce new FIRMS. FIRMS are official maps approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that delineate special insurance-related flood hazard areas and risk zones within communities. Activities conducted to produce FIRMs follow a four-phase process according to FEMA’s guidelines and standards and typically take a minimum of five years to complete. However, modeling and other technical activities that will support development of the state flood plan will result in tools and preliminary maps that could be used by communities to support and complement FEMA’s existing process for producing updated FIRMs.