Flood Control

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From Texas Standard:

Sixty years ago, the Texas Water Development Board was tasked to learn about or manage everything being done across the state to meet our water needs. It was the dawn of an era of planning for water shortages.  

Coffee/Pixabay (CC)

From Texas Standard:

A full account of the lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey is still being tallied. But at least one thing is certain: planners will have to rethink the concrete bones upon which Houston is built. And not just Houston, but any coastal city at risk of serious flooding.

For so long, the main strategy of such a metropolis has been to fight against incoming water with pavement and pumps. It appears the latest thinking on the subject flips things around – embrace the water, don’t just repel it.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

City officials say they're making progress on the Waller Creek Tunnel Project.

Construction crews at Waterloo Park have wrapped up excavating the tunnel and are moving on to building a treatment plant that will help filter floodwaters.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

On Saturday, members of the media were invited to check progress on the Waller Creek tunnel, currently being burrowed some 70 feet underground.

When finished, the tunnel will stretch just over a mile from Waterloo Park to an outlet at Lady Bird Lake. The tunnel will create a steady flow for Waller Creek, and inlets along the creek will prevent water from overflowing, pulling 1 million square feet of developable land out of the 100-year floodplain downtown.

A design competition plotting the future of the Waller Creek area is unfolding alongside the tunnel excavation.