Flood defence schemes in Galashiels and Selkirk have been given priority status by Scottish Borders Council.
Hawick has been badly affected by flooding in the past
It could see them implemented - with financial support from the Scottish Government - within two to five years.
A further five schemes for other parts of the Borders may have to wait for up to eight or more years.
These include Hawick which suffered major flooding two years ago. However, it is hoped smaller scale measures could be introduced more quickly.
Councillors were presented with a £70m price list for carrying out defence works right across the region.
The potential costs ranged from a little over £300,000 in Galashiels up to £38m in Hawick.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor Ron Smith said he accepted the town's proposals were the most expensive.
However, he felt if the scheme was reduced to cope with a lower level of flooding it might be more viable in the short term.
"If we were to focus on the lower level flood we should probably also be able to reduce the ongoing cost of the development," he said.
"We would also lower the height of the wall.
"Two metre high walls throughout Hawick just don't bear thinking about, they would be totally unacceptable."