Originally presented at StormCon 2023.
With an increase in storm intensity and frequency, many states are expanding flood mitigation efforts, and Texas is no exception. In recent years, the 2019 Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott greatly expanded the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) role in flood planning, mapping and funding. Since then, Texas has embarked on a first of its kind process to develop a regional based, statewide flood planning effort to identify existing and future flood risk to life and property, recommend potential flood mitigation solutions and analyze floodplain management practices. The 15 river-basin based regional flood planning groups in Texas submitted their first ever regional flood plans to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in January 2023 and the first state flood plan will be due September 1, 2024. This has been an unprecedented and massive effort conducted as a bottom-up approach mirroring the state’s successful water planning program. Touching on topics such as flood risk reduction, funding, collaboration at the federal and state levels, future condition flooding and more, Reem Zoun, PE, CFM, Director of Flood Planning, Texas Water Development Board, will provide an update on the findings from Texas’s first ever statewide regional flood planning and the status of state flood planning effort.
About the Presenter
Reem Zoun, PE, CFM, is the Director of the Flood Planning Division at the Texas Water Development Board and is leading the effort for developing the statewide flood planning program and the delivery of the first sets of regional flood plans and the state flood plan for the State of Texas. She has over 22 years of private and public sector experience in engineering, flood risk reduction projects, modeling, mapping, capital improvement project portfolio management and delivery, management, and leadership. Prior to joining the TWDB in 2019, Reem worked for the City of Austin, AECOM, Pasminco Elura Mine, and Victoria Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Australia. Reem has multiple publications and has presented in various conferences.
Reem has a MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering with First Class Honours from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Reem received the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Austin Branch 2017 Civil Engineer of the Year award. In 2011, she was awarded as the Young Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers Travis Chapter.
A runner and a gardener, Reem’s favorite part of life is being the mother of her two boys, a thirteen-year-old and a nine-year-old.