El Paso, Texas — A tweet from El Paso Water prompted this question: "How much stormwater can the city of El Paso handle?"
The utility's Tweet came on Dec. 9, stating that about 50 million gallons of rainwater that day was diverted from I-10 in Central El Paso into nearby stormwater ponds.
Those ponds are part of the stormwater infrastructure the water company has been building in response to the devastating flooding of 2006.
Across the city, El Paso Water says it has 434 ponds that collect and hold stormwater, and they can hold a little over three billion gallons of water.
In addition, it has 41 dams that can hold another 800 million gallons of stormwater runoff.
If you adjust for inflation, flooding in the summer of 2006 caused around $400 million worth of damage to El Paso homes, businesses and the city's stormwater system.
That's why updating and creating new stormwater infrastructure became a priority for the city in the years that followed.
El Paso water is still working on building new stormwater infrastructure.