Halls Bayou

Halls Bayou

Watershed Overview

Drainage Area Watershed Population Open Stream Miles Primary Streams
45 Sq. Miles 160,100 (2020 Census Data) 20.2 miles for the Halls mainstem Halls Bayou

Halls Bayou, a tributary of Greens Bayou, is located in north-central Harris County. Approximately 20 miles in length, Halls Bayou collects stormwater from the Veterans Memorial Drive area, flowing east until it joins Greens Bayou at the City of Houston’s Brock Park. The watershed includes 37 tributaries that are more than one mile in length.

Historically, the Halls Bayou watershed has been solely designated as a sub-watershed of Greens Bayou. While it is still a sub-watershed of Greens Bayou, in 2021, the Flood Control District moved to officially designate Halls Bayou as its own watershed, making it Harris County’s 23rd watershed.

The watershed comprises approximately 45 square miles, mostly developed with a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses. The population of the watershed is approximately 160,100, based on the 2010 Census.

Reducing flooding risks in the Halls Bayou watershed is a priority for the Harris County Flood Control District. The Bond Program approved by voters in 2018 includes more than $110 million for the Halls Bayou watershed, which has the potential to leverage more than $346 million in total project value, depending on federal funding approval.


Flooding along Halls Bayou is a persistent hazard for area residents, businesses, and property owners, with flooding documented 14 times since 1989. Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 is the storm of record for the watershed, with more than 13,000 homes flooded. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, an estimated 11,830 homes flooded along Halls Bayou.

Since May 2000, the Flood Control District has participated in approximately 300 voluntary buyouts in the Halls Bayou watershed that were largely funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency grants. Many of these structures flooded repeatedly and the buyouts allowed residents to move to a safer location on higher ground. Two areas where buyouts were performed have been converted to large regional stormwater detention basins: Bretshire and Hall Park.

The Flood Control District has invested more than $3 million in maintenance projects along Halls Bayou and its tributaries over the past 15 years, including de-silt and slope repair projects.

Approach to Flood Risk Reduction

The Flood Control District is taking a watershed-wide approach to planning for this area. This approach provides a holistic view of activity in the watershed and enables the Flood Control District to deliver projects strategically and efficiently in a heavily developed area. Projects will include stormwater detention basins, channel improvements on Halls Bayou tributaries, and right of way acquisition for floodplain preservation.

The Halls Bayou Bond Implementation Program I is the watershed-wide effort working to implement the flood risk reduction projects identified in the 2018 Bond Program for Halls Bayou.


The projects identified in the 2018 Bond Program were originally identified in the 2013 Halls Ahead Study Vision Plan, which was developed with extensive community input between 2012 and 2013. The Vision Plan outlines an ambitious $1.75 billion plan for more than 20 miles of channel conveyance improvements and construction of stormwater detention basins to hold more than 10,000 acre-feet, or approximately 32.6 billion gallons, of stormwater.

In 2019, the Flood Control District completed an update of the 2013 Vision Plan and developed the Halls Bayou Phasing Study. The updated Vision Plan incorporated substantial updates enhanced modeling techniques, improved data collection (such as structure inventory, unit cost estimates, updated existing rights-of-way, flood claim data and other data), and insights gathered from ongoing stakeholder coordination.

The Phasing Study formulates a navigable pathway towards realizing the Vision Plan with smaller and more manageable project pieces. The phased approach for the Vision Plan will facilitate annual budget planning and securing of funds, early identification of potential funding partnerships, and will allow time for right-of-way acquisition.

The Phasing Study breaks the 58 flood risk reduction projects identified in the Vision Plan into 12 phases, with estimated costs between $100 million and $150 million per phase. Each project included in the recommended phases is designed to improve the level of protection from riverine flooding for structures, while also providing environmental benefits where possible. Each phase works together to provide benefits across Halls Bayou.

Projects may include channel conveyance improvements, construction of stormwater detention basins, and bridge modifications. Channel conveyance improvement projects could include: widening and/or deepening of channels, construction of grass-lined sections, retaining walls, concrete lining, enclosure with box culverts, and natural stable channel design. Projects designs will consider aesthetics, the need for right-of-way acquisition, environmental enhancement, recreational opportunities and budgetary constraints.

Bond Funded Projects

In August 2018, Harris County voters approved a $2.5 billion bond program for flood risk reduction projects. Many of these projects incorporate partner funding to maximize local benefits. Learn more about the 2018 Bond Program.

Partnership Funding

Partnership funding is a foundational component of the 2018 Bond Program and is a vital piece of the equation in Halls Bayou. The Flood Control District has submitted applications and is awaiting a response on more than $350 million in Halls Bayou alone in partnership funds through direct allocations, grant money and loans from partners at the federal, regional, state and local levels. Learn more about the Flood Control District’s approach to partnership funds.

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Projects In Halls Bayou Watershed

Active Projects in Greens and Halls Bayou Watersheds