F-101 Galveston Bay Watershed Planning Project

F-101 Galveston Bay Watershed Planning Project

Recent Actions

May 19, 2020 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved updates to project details in the 2018 Bond Program List. Update changes project type and funding to being funded by 2018 CDBG-DR.

Septmeber 24, 2019 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved agreements with engineering firms to conduct Watershed Planning Projects.

June 9, 2019 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved negotiations with engineering firms in support of this project.

May 14, 2019 - Recommendation for authorization to initiate and proceed with planning, design, and construction of improvements to district infrastructure.

April 9, 2019 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved a request for a Statement of Qualifications from engineering firms in support of this project.

April 9, 2019 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved amended funding for Harris County from the CDBG-DR program.

August 18, 2018 - The State of Texas received additional Community Development Block Grant disaster relief funding of $89 million that included additional funding for watershed planning activities in Harris County.

July 10, 2018 - Harris County Commissioners Court approved a State of Texas action plan that included Community Development Block Grant disaster relief funding of $1.1 billion.

Project Description

This effort resulted in a watershed-wide plan for major stormwater infrastructure improvements in the watershed of Galveston Bay, HCFCD Unit F100-00-00. Completed in 2021, the Galveston Bay Watershed Planning Project investigated flooding problems, identified ongoing and proposed flood mitigation projects, and evaluated and recommended potential projects to reduce the risk of flooding in this watershed.

Summary of Galveston Bay Watershed Plan

Published March 5, 2021

The Flood Control District applied for and was awarded partnership funding for this project from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program (CDBG-DR) awarded through the Texas General Land Office of the State of Texas to Harris County Community Services Department.

Planners worked with Harris County, municipalities such as the City of La Porte, and other agencies, both to clarify flooding issues in the watershed, and to improve coordination between Flood Control District regional projects and future local projects.

This type of Watershed Planning Project is a feasibility project, which means that results and recommendations are at a conceptual level. Each recommended project would need to be developed in more detail during separate preliminary engineering and design stages of the project lifecycle before proceeding to construction, which could be at least several years away.

Taking a watershed-wide approach will ensure that future flood risk reduction projects work together and are sequenced appropriately to achieve the maximum benefits.

The Galveston Bay Watershed Planning Project had a contract budget of $450,000. The 2018 HCFCD Bond Program includes Bond ID F-98, which allocated $4 million for ROW acquisition, engineering and construction of individual flood risk reduction projects in the watershed.

Goals of This Watershed Planning Project

Goal 1: Identify Existing and Potential Future Flooding Problems. Goal 2: Evaluate Problems and Potential Solutions. Goal 3: Develop Watershed Strategy. Goal 4: Create Watershed Plan Document. Goal 5: Develop Additional Details for Immediate Projects. We are at goal 4.
Taking advantage of past Flood Control District reports and studies, the Watershed Planning Projects will:
  1. Define existing conditions for the drainage infrastructure and identify existing and potential future flooding problems in the watershed.
  2. Evaluate potential solutions to these problems using criteria provided by the Flood Control District.
  3. Develop a strategy for the watersheds that provides appropriate improvements for future drainage infrastructure.
  4. Create a comprehensive Watershed Plan to document recommendations for required improvement projects.
  5. Develop a list of immediate improvement projects with more detailed costs and implementation information.

Watershed Information

Known Flood-Prone Areas

Initial study of the Galveston Bay watershed has identified the following major problem areas:

  • Northern area - Except for some very small areas, this northern land mass of the Galveston Bay watershed is located primarily within the City of La Porte and is directly drained by three small tributaries to the Galveston Bay estuary. Since these areas drain directly to the Bay, there are no flood detention facilities in the area; however, the area is quite flat, and there are large designated floodplains on Tributary F216-00-00 and a large coastal surge zone abutting the Bay.
  • Southern area - The southern land mass of the Galveston Bay watershed is smaller but has similar flooding problems as those identified in the northern area. Almost 1,000 homes suffered from coastal storm surge damages during Hurricane Ike. Over 100 homes located further inland also reported flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Additional Information

The Harris County Flood Control District conducted high-level Watershed Planning Projects to identify strategies for mitigation of existing flooding problems in ten multiple Harris County watersheds, and to address improved drainage infrastructure required for future development. Nine watershed planning projects are funded by Harris County, the Texas General Land Office of the State of Texas, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant Program to provide for disaster recovery and restoration of infrastructure for communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. These include Armand Bayou, Jackson Bayou, Spring Gully, Galveston Bay, Luce Bayou, Vince Bayou, Goose Creek, Spring Creek and Willow Creek. A similar study for Carpenters Bayou is being funded through the 2018 HCFCD Bond Program. Approximately 10,000 structures flooded within these ten watersheds during Hurricane Harvey – with the most flooded structures located within Armand Bayou, Vince Bayou, and Goose Creek watersheds.

Previous Engineering Reports And Studies for this Watershed

The Flood Control District maintains a large library of engineering reports from various studies and projects related to flooding conditions across Harris County. For this watershed, these include:

  • 19 Major Engineering Studies that cover a significant area located within the watershed or involve multiple or large proposed projects.
  • 31 individual drainage study reports for small projects in the watershed.
  • 15 Geotechnical and Environmental Studies to support various project activities within the watershed.

Project Lifecycle

Every flood damage reduction project is unique. Yet each project begins and ends, with common and predictable milestones along the way. Whether a project moves forward – and how quickly – depends on many factors, including the availability of funding at each milestone, shifting community priorities for flood damage reduction, and other changing circumstances (such as the price of trees or concrete) from year to year.