Sugar Land continues to be recognized for innovations in flood mapping

The City of Sugar Land was awarded the John Patton Community Project Award by Texas Floodplain Management Association for its Integrated Stormwater Management Model (ISWMM). The award recognizes a Texas community that implements flood loss mitigation and public safety practices. ISWMM combines extensive drainage studies, hydrologic/hydraulic modeling, and forecast tracking to give Sugar Land residents access to all the information possible before or during a severe weather event.

Initially developed in 2010, ISWMM has undergone many additions and updates. Most recently, the city completed the phase three update, which included the newest generation of ponding maps for various storm durations and frequencies for the entire city. Further, the newest update saw the development and hosting of a real-time online map, available to residents, that collects and stores rainfall data and shows ponding based on real-time rainfall and storm durations.

Senior Engineer Jorge Alba explains ISWMM.

By implementing ISWMM, Sugar Land is actively protecting its residents from flooding with state-of-the-art, up-to-date information on ponding and flooding. ISWMM is connected to 28 gauges across the city that report real-time information that is used to create ponding maps. As a result, the system gives:

  • public access to real-time ponding information;
  • the ability to send notifications about ponding, street flooding, and potential street closures;
  • assistance in the planning of evacuation routes; and
  • assistance in evaluating current drainage infrastructure to more efficiently target drainage improvements.

“I’m proud of the work that the city has done to keep our residents safe from major flood events,” said Senior Engineering Manager Jorge Alba. “ISWMM is a valuable tool that allows us to help keep our community safe while mitigating losses from flooding.”

The implementation of this technology is part of a larger investment the city is making in drainage improvements, a top priority identified by Sugar Land residents through the 2020 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

To access ISWMM, visit:

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