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Soaking up rising floodwaters in growing cities

Texas cities are expanding fast. Between 2010 and 2019, six of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States were in Texas. Bigger cities mean less land to soak up rainwater, leading to increased flood risk. Add climate change to the equation, and you have a bigger flooding problem to solve.

Buildings, roads, sidewalks and other city elements are impervious: they can’t soak up water like soil can. Instead, water runs off the impervious surfaces, flowing into neighboring streams and low-lying areas. Having faster and higher amounts of runoff results in more flooding, said Wonmin Sohn, Ph.D. She is an assistant professor in Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction.

Read more from Chantal Cough-Schulze with Texas Water Resources Institute here.