In our constant effort to prepare our community for the next high water event, the LID 19 board, along with several other boards, have joined forces to provide two-dimensional stormwater modeling to our region.
In 2014, Fort Bend County provided LIDAR data for the county. LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is a technique that utilizes pulsed lasers to provide topographic information.
WHAT IS LIDAR?
Pulsed lasers are sent from an aircraft to targeted ground positions get reflected back to equipment on that aircraft. A sensor on the plane measures the distance traveled by the laser. Millions of these pulses grouped with global positioning information, as well as other measurement systems, create scan angles. All of these millions of elevation points combine into what is called a point cloud. Every point in that cloud has three-dimensional spatial coordinates. The result of which is detailed topographic information about the ground.
LID 19, along with Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District #115, First Colony LID, and LID 15, joined forces to update the data to account for new developments since 2014 as well as to provide greater detail than what is available in the 2014 Fort Bend County LIDAR.
WHAT IS 2D MODELING?
This initiative provides an additional level of detail for intense, less frequent rainfall events where the storm sewer collection system is overwhelmed. The new topographic information and various rainfall data fed into modeling software creates a 2D hydrological model of the Steep Bank Creek watershed and the surrounding regions. Once completed, the new, more accurate mapping can help us create high-end modeling of specific irregular rain events.
As meteorologists forecast certain cumulative rainfall events over a particular number of days, the modeling information can plan out the event projections before the storm reaches us, allowing operators on the ground to better prepare for a specific rain event. As we are aware, every high water event is unique, and information is critical to our success. This modeling will assist participating districts in evaluating potential future capital improvements and implementing appropriate operational changes to better prepare for the next river or weather event.
The cost of the 2D model is shared between all four parties. The 2D model is completed and will be released to participants as soon as the current conditions of the pandemic abate.