Projects & Studies

Sims Bayou

Drainage Area Watershed Population Open Stream Miles Primary Streams
94 Sq. Miles 284,727 (Harris County portion) 121 Miles Sims Bayou
Berry Bayou


Watershed Overview

The Sims Bayou watershed is located in southern Harris County. Most of the watershed is within the City of Houston. However, the upper reach of the watershed drains the City of Missouri City and the lower reach of the watershed drains the cities of South Houston and Pasadena. The Sims Bayou watershed covers about 94 square miles and includes two primary streams: Sims Bayou and Berry Bayou. There are about 121 miles of open streams within the watershed, including the primary streams and tributary channels. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the estimated population of the Harris County portion of the Sims Bayou watershed is 284,727.

Sunset on Sims Bayou, 2003.

Structural flooding has occurred numerous times along Sims Bayou and its tributaries. The majority of the structures that are flood prone were built prior to the existence of detailed floodplain maps and prior to floodplain management regulations.

Land Use

The watershed is almost fully developed, with the exception of the middle reaches around SH 288 where there are large undeveloped areas. Development is expected to continue at a fairly steady pace.

The District is currently partnering with the Corps of Engineers on the Sims Bayou Federal Project and has also constructed two regional stormwater detention basins in the upper reaches of the watershed that cover a total of about 418 acres. These projects will significantly reduce the risk of flooding along Sims Bayou. There are other sub-regional basins for specific projects that mitigate impacts from new development.


The ongoing federal project for Sims Bayou includes environmental impact mitigation areas in oxbows, inline ponds and flood benches that create plateaus in the channel. Thousands of trees and shrubs have been planted along the new channel in order to create additional habitat. Recreational facilities along the channel and in detention areas are currently being considered by other recreational sponsors.