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By Guest Author – Brad B. Castleberry, Principal; Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys and Counselors

In addition to drought contingency plans, some owners should consider the stability of their water supplies, especially if the source is surface water. Surface water rights in Texas are governed by the prior appropriation doctrine, which means "first in time, first in right." Drought conditions in 2011 resulted in priority calls in several Texas river basins.  

TCEQ held a stakeholder meeting in August 2011 and a public hearing in December 2011 to discuss implementation...

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TagsWater Rights, TCEQ, Priority, Drought Response,

In response to the 2011 drought, many water providers were implementing multiple stages of their drought contingency plans for the first time. “Drought Forces Water Contingency Plans Across State,” first published last summer in Freese and Nichols' AquAlert, discusses specific considerations for water providers in developing and implementing a drought contingency plan. It's found on page 2 of the Summer 2011 issue of aquALERT.

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TagsTCEQ, Drought Response, Drought Contingency,

What should you consider?

  • Water contract and right restrictions
  • Drought contingency plan requirements
  • Supplier, customer and regulatory agency coordination
  • Coordination with governing bodies
  • Connected supply and demand comparison
  • Reactions of others and impact on water supply
  • Low lake levels and intake elevations
  • Transmission system restrictions
  • Increased losses in bed and banks delivery
  • Impacts on water demand
  • Impacts on water quality
  • Available drought
  • ...

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TagsWater Rights, Tips, lake levels, drought, Conservation,

In March 2011, FEMA agreed to end its policy of disregarding non-accredited levees and flood structures in the process of updating FIRMs. This “all or nothing” approach to evaluating levees and the flood risks behind them affects levee owners who cannot or will not develop technical data for FEMA accreditation of their levees.

New Rules Proposed, Now Being Finalized
FEMA has now proposed new rules for “Analysis and Mapping Procedures for Non-Accredited Levees.” These rules were provided for public review, and the comment period ended January 30. FEMA is now...

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TagsLevees, FEMA,

FIRMs Under Review With a Focus on Levees
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that levees are not created equally, nor do they all age gracefully. Prior to the breach of the Mississippi River levee in New Orleans, flood delineations shown on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) indicated that the areas behind levees were protected – that is, outside the flood limits of the base flood. Motivated by the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and other storm events throughout the U.S., FEMA is now reviewing and revising (as appropriate)...

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TagsLevees, FEMA,

What is Hydroacoustic Technology?
In general, hydroacoustic technology is technology that applies sound to water to collect data and information. When used to quantify discharge/depth relationships and flow velocities, hydroacoustic technology can improve the accuracy of hydraulic modeling. This ability to collect real-time field measurements of discharge and flow velocities is a recent and important advancement in our field, as it allows professionals to take specific, current measurements of ungaged streams and rivers quickly and easily.

FNI’s...

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TagsStream Assessment,

FNI conducted a stormwater funding survey of Texas municipalities and found that more than 60 percent of participants relied completely on one funding source for their stormwater projects. Particularly in today’s economy, this kind of funding dependence can severely limit a municipality’s efforts to protect its citizens from stormwater flooding. Diversifying funding sources helps enable communities to continue diligent monitoring, provide regular maintance and improve their systems while weathering the storm of the current economic climate.

What Are the Options?...

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TagsStormwater Utility, Funding,

In a difficult economy, many clients question spending additional, already-tight project funding to design their stormwater management projects to accommodate a 100-year storm and/or flood, which has a low probability of occurring. However, this decision should be weighed heavily. Saving project capital now could put your community at a significant risk later.

They Happen More Often than You Think
It is commonly believed that 100-year storms and floods occur once every 100 years, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 100-year storms and floods...

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TagsFlooding, Stormwater Design,

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