Hays County Flood Risk Study


At the request of Hays County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a comprehensive Flood Protection Planning Study for northern Hays County that includes the Barton Creek, Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek, Onion Creek and Pedernales River watersheds in the Colorado River drainage basin.


Hays County’s population has been increasing dramatically – the county’s population grew from 97,589 in 2000 to 157,107 in 2010, a 61% increase. Development has subsequently increased as well. This growth has the potential to place residents at a greater risk for human and economic losses from floods.


The study is designed to assess the current risk for flooding and propose ways to minimize the impact from flood events. Components of the study include hydraulic and hydrologic modeling of basin runoff correlated to rainfall intensity and other factors, determining environmental and economic impact from various levels of flooding and suggesting structural and non-structural alternatives that could minimize damage to life and property.

Modern technological advances and data resources have made possible a much more detailed study than has been available in the past, making for a more reliable and accurate account of potential impact. The study will provide a better decision-making tool for determining where public roads and other facilities could be placed to avoid flooding.


The study is funded by Hays County, a grant from the Texas Water Development Board and matching funds allocated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Lower Colorado River Authority facilitated the project under its Feasibility Study Cost-Sharing Agreement with the Corps of Engineers.


The Corps of Engineers held a public meeting in Dripping Springs in February 2011 to present the study’s goals to the public. Meetings were held to present preliminary hydraulic and hydrologic study results in February 2012 in San Marcos and March 2012 in Buda.


For more information about the Flood Risk Management Study, please contact Marie Vanderpool, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District project manager, marie.j.vanderpool@usace.army.mil or 817-886-1424.