Structures Need Rehab - Part 1

Oct 14, 2015

Corbett Freeman, P.E.

Money for infrastructure always seems to be scarce, but our great “Bayou City” continues to grow and, at the same time, continues to age. Without needs-based programs like ReBuild Houston that prioritize replacement of crumbling infrastructure, a full eighty percent of drainage structures and streets will outlive their useful life in the next 20 years. Nationally, the last increase in the gas tax, which generally pays for our transportation system, was over 20 years ago. That bill, however, was passed to balance the budget, not to pay for new and replacement infrastructure.  View Full Post

When It Floods In Houston, The Aquifers Are Recharged…Right?

Sep 08, 2015

full service engineering and surveying firm
Michael J. Turco
The Houston area receives more annual rainfall than nearly all of the other large cities in the State of Texas. With nearly 50 inches of rain a year as the norm, you would think that, since our rivers, streams, and bayous flood frequently, some of that extra runoff would make its way to the aquifers in the region. Unfortunately, that is not the case…to understand why that is, we have to discuss the hydrogeology, surficial geology, and where our groundwater comes from. View Full Post

Detention 101: Detention vs. Retention

Jun 22, 2015

full service engineering and surveying firm Detention vs. Retention
Lacey Bodnar, E.I.T., CFM
While detention and retention may sound the same, the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Detention and retention both refer to storing rain water on-site during a storm event, when the risk of flooding is highest. The difference is that when water is detained, it is slowly released into a stream or river and leaves the site. When water is retained, it is not intended to leave the site. Instead, it is infiltrated into the ground or evapo-transpired into the air.  View Full Post

Do You Live in a Flood Plain?

May 26, 2015

Do You Live in a Flood Plain 
Greg Frank, P.E., CFM

"I’m not in a flood plain…or am I?"

Unfortunately this question is way too timely. Many Houstonians may have thought they were not in a floodplain, and yet found their homes underwater this past week.  I attend several flood plain related conferences each year and this question is asked by any number of speakers.  Each time, only a few of us raise our hands, after all we ARE flood plain managers and flood control engineers, so we should know better, right?  But the brutal truth is that we are ALL living in a flood plain of some sort.  I like to use the analogy ‘Noah built the ark for a reason… it rained for forty days and forty nights’. View Full Post

Using GIS to Facilitate Development within Floodplain

Aug 29, 2014
Using GIS to Facilitate Development within Floodplains

Lacey Bodnar, E.I.T., CFM  

and Chris Shannon, P.E., CFM

Using GIS to Facilitate Development within Floodplains


The demand for new homes is increasing as Houston’s economy continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Locations next to a creek, stream, or lake are attractive sites, as access to water provides many recreational and enjoyment opportunities. However, these days it’s nearly impossible to find land that does not contain a floodplain within its boundaries.  GIS is utilized to facilitate safe and cost-effective development on lands encumbered by flood hazard risks, allowing for safe and sustainable growth in our region.

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