Closing The Floodgates

by Walter Skipwith, (M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Albert Halff Associates, Dallas, TX,
Laura Moreland, Civ. Engr.; Albert H. Halff Assoc., Dallas, TX,
Michael Denton, Civ. Engr.; Plano Engrg. Dept., Dallas, TX,
Mike Askew, Civ. Engr.; Dallas Stormwater Management Dept., Dallas, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 7, Pg. 54-55

Document Type: Feature article


The White Rock Creek basin in Dallas and Collin Counties, is one of Texas' most crucial resources. While large tracts of undeveloped land in Collin County remain under agricultural or open space use, other land is quickly being converted for residential and commercial projects. Within the basin runs the White Rock Creek, a major tributary of the Trinity River, which drains 136 sq mi. A flood plain management study of the creek--a joint effect between the cities of Plano and Dallas--was commissioned and included 60 mi of White Rock Creek and 33 tributaries in Dallas and Plano. Ultimately, a $7.8 million flood plain management plan was approved by the Dallas City Council in June 1988, and an $18.3 million plan was approved by the Plano in April 1989. Perhaps more significant, the Texas study featured several innovative flood plain management techniques, including a global positioning system; 3-D digital mapping and topography; a Geographic Information System with remote sensing; satellite surveying; and CADD maps. During the White Rock Creek study, these technologies showed potential for reducing manpower needs and improving accuracy for future flood plain management studies.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Rocks | Flood plains | Global positioning systems | Geographic information systems | Gates (hydraulic) | Mapping | Information systems | United States | Texas

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