The San Jacinto River Authority, the city of Houston, and Montgomery and Harris counties agreed to partner to provide funds for the San Jacinto Watershed Master Drainage Plan—previously referred to as the Upper San Jacinto River Regional Watershed Flood Mitigation Plan—which could mitigate flooding along the watershed.

According to a Feb. 13 release from the SJRA, the project will study the entire Upper San Jacinto River watershed and its major tributaries between I-10 in Houston and Hwy. 30 near Huntsville. The streams that will be studied span seven counties and include the east and west fork of the San Jacinto River; the San Jacinto River; Cypress, Little Cypress, Spring, Willis, Caney, Peach and Lake creeks; and Luce, Tarkington and Jackson bayous.

According to the release, the results of the study will be used to identify future projects that could prevent flooding, which could include building large regional detention facilities, managing sediment, implementing home buyouts and installing additional water gauges.

The study is funded by a $2.03 million grant by the Texas Division of Emergency Management from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant was awarded to Harris County with the condition that regional agencies share the local match cost of $677,052, and Harris County commissioners approved the grant during the court meeting Feb. 12. Harris County Flood Control District will serve as the representative for Harris County during the study, according to the news release.

Chuck Gilman, SJRA's director of flood management, said the agencies expect to gather in mid-March to begin coordinating for the study, and the study is expected to be completed by January 2022. Throughout the length of the study, the agencies will host community forums to gather public input and comments, Gilman said.