SPRING CREEK SOLUTIONS A flood prevention option being considered for the 284-square-mile Spring Creek watershed—an area where water drains to the same location—includes dams to reduce the flow of water downstream.
Two locations in the Spring Creek watershed on Birch and Walnut creeks are being considered for dams. A funding source and timeline have not been established. PROPOSED SPRING CREEK DAM SITES
41 feet Proposed dam size:
46 feet Proposed dam cost:
Initial cost: $80M-$120M for design, construction and right-of-
Initial cost: $97M-$132M
THREE MILE CREEK
for design, construc- tion and right-of-way acquisitions Long-term cost (in 20 years): $147M-$200M
way acquisitions Long-term cost (in 20 years): $121M-$181M
Birch Creek proposed dam location Spring Creek watershed SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT, SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY, SPRING CREEK STUDY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Walnut Creek proposed dam location N Creeks
OneWater Task Force dissolved; Spring Creek damstudy proceeds
ENGAGEMENT PLANS The Spring Creek study will gather feedback through 2023 for its dam locations plan.
BY VANESSA HOLT & JISHNU NAIR
On April 7, the San Jacinto River Authority held its first public input meeting for a feasibility study regarding two potential dams on Birch and Walnut creeks. According to the SJRA’s website, dams on the two rivers would ini- tially cost $80 million-$132 million each at current rates. In another 20 years, costs will escalate to up to $200 million for each dam. A funding source and timeline have not been established. The creek dams would use pipes and a spillway to handle water, and the reservoirs would be dry bot- tom—meaning when rain does not fall, the area will be dried out, SJRA Division Manager Matt Barrett said. “The benefit [of this model] is that there’s less water coming down- stream,” Barrett said. Rieser said he believes the dams are the most likely of the plans proposed to be feasible.
Bruce Rieser, vice chair of the township board and former chair of the One Water Task Force, said the township’s municipal utility districts are more appropriate entities to facilitate those discussions as they have provided funding for studies related to drainage in the Spring Creek watershed. “I don’t think we should be spend- ing time or township resources to do it; it really is not our responsibility,” he said. Detention study continues In addition to prompting the formation of the task force, regional flooding in 2016-17 also contributed to the development of the San Jacinto Regional Watershed Master Drainage Plan, which was completed in 2020 and identified 16 potential flood control projects. The ongoing Spring Creek Flood Control Dams Feasibility Study is one of those efforts.
While The Woodlands Township board of directors on April 21 decided not to renew its One Water Task Force, which focused on drainage, flooding, subsidence and other issues related to water in the region, efforts continue this year among agencies looking to find solutions to improve regional drainage. The Woodlands’ task force was originally formed to discuss drainage issues following high-water events in 2015 and 2016, and it expanded its scope over five years to include topics such as subsidence, which is the gradual sinking of land due to excessive groundwater withdrawal. At the April 21 board of directors meeting, Director Ann Snyder made a motion to continue the task force in 2022, stating she felt it was an important role for the township to serve even though it does not have jurisdiction over water matters.
April 7: The first public engagement meeting is held in Waller. Summer: A second public engagement meeting will be held.
February: A draft report will be formulated for the Spring Creek study.
“This is the only one that shows any promise,” Rieser said. “If you take a significant portion of the water out between Kuykend- ahl [Road] and I-45, it benefits everyone downstream.” Early 2023: A third public engagement meeting will be held. SOURCE: SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
STARTING A BUSINESS? Noah Meek can help you with your Corporate, LLC, and Partnership Startup, Sale, and Contract Negotiation needs. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY 25700 INTERSTATE 45 N, SUITE 130 SPRING, TX 77386 281-367-6555 • WWW.GKBKLAW.COM
THE WOODLANDS EDITION • MAY 2022
Powered by FlippingBook