It is good news the 86th Texas Legislature authorized the first Texas statewide flood plan under Senate Bill 8 in 2019. Floods are the second deadliest weather-related hazard in the United States, after heat, and Texas leads the nation in flood fatalities. Texas’ flood fatalities are greatest in what the National Weather Service calls “Flash Flood Alley,” near the Balcones Escarpment in the Hill Country and Central Texas and encompassing much of the recharge area of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers.
Developing a statewide flood plan for Texas is a challenging process. Texas is a very large geographic area and contains a wide range of physical conditions. Flood planning in the Houston area, for example, involves issues such as sea-level rise and sinking land through subsidence. The karst landscape of the Hill Country, on the other hand, contributes to flooding in some areas but also acts as a conduit for very large amounts of stormwater to recharge our aquifers.