The Water for Texas conference is biannually organized by the Texas Water Development Board, (TWDB) bringing together industry experts, innovators, influencers, and leaders to discuss water issues impacting Texas now and in years to come. NBSO Texas Chief Representative Bee Kothuis attended the conference to further develop the network and connect potential Dutch expertise.
TWDB is currently working on the first-ever State Flood Plan for Texas. Starting in 2020, the TWDB has designated 15 regional flood planning areas across the state and established Regional Flood Planning Groups (RFPGs) that delivered regional flood plans in accordance with TWDB requirements and guidelines by January 2023. The TWDB will combine these regional plans to create the first state flood plan by September 2024 (for in-depth information: www.twbd.texas.gov and www.texasflood.org).
During the conference, several challenges were mentioned:
- Difficult to get the cost-benefit ratio for flood protection measures right (portraying, monetizing, and valuing preventive measures are not common and developed in the US).
- Requirement for no-negative-impact measures: need for impact studies.
- Nature-Based Solutions; desire to implement these more often, but difficult to value ecological and quality of life benefits (monetarily or otherwise).
- Playing field is silo-ed, it is difficult to get all players at the table
- Public awareness is limited, ‘informative/education programs’ are searched for both citizens and elected officials.
If your company can offer products or services in this field and is interested and ready to do business in Texas, do not hesitate to contact NBSO Texas. We are happy to support and connect Dutch water knowledge and expertise in Texas!