In the wake of historic flooding in Texas, the 2019 Texas Legislature passed legislation to create Texas’ first regional and state flood planning process. The Legislature created a state flood planning framework and charged the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) with creating flood planning regions based on river basins and with administering the ongoing work of flood planning.
The San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group (San Jacinto Region) is one of the 15 Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPGs) formed by the TWDB. San Jacinto Region includes all or part of 11 counties and extends from Galveston in the south to Huntsville in the north.
Through this flood planning effort, San Jacinto Region received a flood planning grant from the TWDB to help identify specific flood risks as well as strategies to reduce flood risks in coming years. This effort represents a bottom-up approach to flood planning and is intended to be a transparent process that relies on public input.
The scope of the Regional Flood Plan (Plan) is broken into 10 major tasks. The first four tasks are aimed at gathering and analyzing existing data, identifying existing and future flood risks, reviewing floodplain management practices, and evaluating flood management strategies, all of which are expected to be completed by late 2021.
The remaining six planning tasks will make recommendations of studies and projects to be included in the regional flood plan, review current flood response efforts, present policy recommendations, identify project funding opportunities, and ensure continued public participation throughout the process as the regional flood plan is adopted.
The Texas Water Code requires RFPGs to deliver regional flood plans to the TWDB by January 10, 2023, and every five years thereafter. The state flood plan, to be based on adopted regional plans, must be prepared and adopted by the TWDB by September 1, 2024, and every five years thereafter.