The 2019 Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott greatly expanded the TWDB's role in flood planning. The TWDB will be administering a new state and regional flood planning process with flood planning regions based on river basins. The regional flood planning process will be developed, and initial regional flood planning groups formed by late-2020; the first regional flood plans will be due in January 2023, and the first state flood plan will be due September 1, 2024.
Flood Planning Region Boundaries
The TWDB designated 15 flood planning regions in Texas on April 9, 2020. Board designation of flood planning regions is required under Senate Bill 8, 86th Texas Legislature, which established a new regional and state flood planning process for the state.
Regional and State Flood Planning Rules
The TWDB completed the review of public comments received on the proposed regional and state flood planning rules. The input received from the public during the comment period was thoughtful and constructive, and resulted in beneficial changes. The May 21, 2020 Board Item document includes attachments that describe the public comments received and changes made in response to those comments.
At the May 21, 2020 Board meeting, the board approved the final administrative rules for 31 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 361 and 31 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 362 relating to Regional and State Flood Planning to implement Senate Bill 8, 86th Texas Legislature.
Designation of Initial Voting Members of Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPGs)
In May 2020, the Texas Water Development Board’s Executive Administrator opened a solicitation for nominations of individuals to serve as initial regional flood planning group members to fill the 12 required voting interest categories for each of the 15 flood planning regions. More than 600 nominations were received during the nomination period.
At the October 1, 2020 Board meeting, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) designated the initial voting members of the 15 regional flood planning groups. These planning groups will be responsible for developing Texas’ first regional flood plans by January 2023, which will culminate in the state’s first-ever state flood plan.
For information on the selection process, please see the October 1, 2020, Board item.
The TWDB will convene the initial planning group meetings this fall and post public notice for each on the TWDB website prior to the meetings. The TWDB Regional Flood Planning Group Meetings webpage will include meeting agendas, meeting materials, and information to access and attend the meetings. All flood planning group meetings and members are subject to the Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act. The meetings will include an opportunity for public comment and will be conducted in an open and transparent manner.