Today, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) authorized $3.5 million in flood protection grants from the Disaster Contingency Fund for 17 projects around the state. The grants will be used to finance flood early warning systems, flood response strategies, and flood protection planning.
“The severity of flood damage and resulting loss of life across Texas in recent years has demonstrated that communities need more financial resources to help them prepare for and respond to floods,” said TWDB Board Chairman Bech Bruun. “All 17 projects funded today include an early warning component and represent an important first step in implementing critical flood protection efforts.”
Last spring, the TWDB published a request for applications for $2 million in flood protection grants and received 41 applications for a total requested amount of $7,260,116.36. Because of the critical need and high demand for this funding, the TWDB allocated an additional $1.5 million from the Disaster Contingency Fund toward these grants.
“The combination of statewide and local efforts allows the TWDB to capitalize on the strength of both to maximize flood outreach across the state,” said TWDB Board member Kathleen Jackson. “We are drawing on local innovation to meet local needs.”
The projects were prioritized according to their ability to protect the health, public safety, and economic prosperity of Texans. The TWDB limited the grants to no more than $500,000 per applicant to enable more communities across the state to be served.
“Combined with the required local matching funds, the grants awarded today will result in the potential for approximately $9.5 million of funding to be put to work for communities large and small,” said TWDB Board member Peter Lake. “These projects are one element of a wide range of flood initiatives that the TWDB has been working on in the last year.”
The 17 projects receiving flood protection grants are:
- Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District – $265,150 for an early warning system
- Cameron County Drainage District No. 5 – $112,500 for an early warning system, flood response, and flood protection planning
- Cameron County Drainage District No. 1 – $187,500 for an early warning system
- Central Texas Council of Governments – $231,019 for an early warning system, flood response, and flood protection planning
- City of Austin – $96,633.14 for an early warning system
- City of Beaumont – $287,000 for an early warning system and flood protection planning
- City of Buda – $292,890 for an early warning system
- City of Fort Worth – $247,378 for an early warning system and flood response
- City of Leon Valley – $11,309.86 for an early warning system
- City of Sealy – $14,430 for an early warning system
- Guadalupe Blanco River Authority – Caldwell County – $70,688 for an early warning system
- Guadalupe Blanco River Authority – Hays County – $37,406 for an early warning system
- Harris County Flood Control District – $250,000 for an early warning system, flood response, and flood protection planning
- Hays County – $500,000 for an early warning system and flood response
- North Central Texas Council of Governments – $159,096 for an early warning system
- San Jacinto River Authority – $460,000 for an early warning system, flood response, and flood protection planning
- Uvalde County – $277,000 for an early warning system
In addition to the grants awarded today, the Board approved a contract for $150,000 to study stream gage and weather station placement requirements to improve flood forecasting in Texas. The study will be completed by December 31, 2016. The Board also approved funding for the U.S. Geological Society to install and maintain additional gages to support flood warning and forecasting.
Governor Greg Abbott authorized the transfer of $6.8 million from the Disaster Contingency Fund to the TWDB in December 2015 to be used for flood protection. Prior to the transfer, Senator Kirk Watson authored an amendment to House Bill 6 directing funding to the Disaster Contingency Account for floodplain management in the 2015 legislative session.
For more information on the TWDB’s flood programs, please visit www.texasflood.org.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.
Originally posted on Texas Water Development Board.