Tile drainage, ditch design alternatives and water retention are three areas of focus for the Red River Watershed Management Board Technical Advisory Committee. Houston Engineering Incorporated Engineer Jerry Bents says water retention in the right locations can provide flood resiliency. Right now, there’s not enough in place throughout the Red River basin to alleviate much of a spring flood. “We talk about a 20 percent reduction on the Red River. That’s been the long-term goal. At this point, we’re probably at two to three percent of that 20 percent that’s needed for the basin,” says Bents. “What’s been done helps, but we have a long way to go.” Tile drainage is another piece of the flood mitigation puzzle, but Bents says it’s not the entire solution. “In localized areas, if we can take soil that otherwise would have been saturated and have available retention or storage within soils it can provide local benefits.” Bents was part of the 2020 Red River Basin Drainage Conference.
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