Protecting Our Communities From Flooding and Climate Change in Texas

Hurricane Harvey flooding

Pleae weigh in on one of the most critical challenges of our time: how to protect communities from storms that are intensifying as the earth's climate continues to warm. Urge the Texas Water Development Board TODAY to invest in proven, natural systems that give flood waters a place to go and help restore the natural environment.

New legislation passed earlier this year by the Texas Legislature directs the Texas Water Development Board (TBWD) to create and administer a long-range flood control plan. The legislation allocates almost $800 million for flood-control projects. Thanks to the efforts of the environmental community, the legislature also instructed the TWDB to allocate some of this funding to nature-based solutions and not just dams and pipelines – but to what degree and in what fashion is still to be determined. 

Flooding is natural. But human activity is making the magnitude and impacts of floods more severe. Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels is warming the oceans, putting more water vapor into the atmosphere which leads to more intense precipitation when storms occur. At the same time, we’ve paved over wetlands, prairie lands, and other natural areas for development. That has made flooding worse by eliminating nature's 'sponges' that would otherwise absorb and retain stormwater.

Structural controls like damns, levies and pipes have a role to play in flood control. But buyouts of property that flood frequently, preservation of open space and recharge areas, and restoration of wetlands, prairies and riparian corridors can blunt the impacts of flooding and remove people and property from harm's way. They can also help bring nature back into urban areas and revitalize habitat.

Please email the TWDB and tell them to prioritize proven, nature-based strategies in our long-range flood control plan!

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