If you have been following our work, you know that here at Environment Texas we are big proponents of nature-based infrastructure to fight flooding. Interconnected networks of rain gardens, bioswales, and other green-spaces can create a more resilient stormwater system that protects communities from floods. And seriously, is there anyone who would rather have an underground network of concrete pipes and dams than a vibrant green web of gardens and natural features running through their city?
Over the past few months, we have been working to secure funding for communities who want such a future by asking the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to incorporate nature-based solutions into account in their brand new Flood Infrastructure Fund and Statewide Flood Plan.
And just this past week, with the publication of the final rules, we have succeeded!
In the finalized Flood Infrastructure Fund rules (here and here) the board has added a definition of nature-based flood mitigation, and added requirement that all projects consider nature-based features in their proposals in order to get funding. Projects with nature-based features included will also get priority in the ranking system that determines which projects get funding.
It's great to get the shoutout from the TWDB for our work on the issue, and even greater to see Texas recognizing how useful nature-based infrastructure projects are and giving our communities a chance to see that benefit.