Matt Barrett, SJRA's flood management division manager, said the studies are a continuation of the San Jacinto Regional Watershed Master Drainage Plan—a $2.7 million study that was completed in August that outlined up to $3.3 billion of potential flood-control projects across the San Jacinto River watershed.
In February, the SJRA was awarded almost $1.4 million from the Texas Water Development Board to move forward on three studies that will take place over the next several years, Barrett said.
After the vote, Humble Mayor Merle Aaron thanked City Council for choosing to partner in the flood studies.
"In the past, we had floods; we had all kinds of problems, and this gives us a voice in what's happening," he said. "We've needed to do this in the past, and it was time we did it and we stood up to do our part."
The city agreed to fund $50,000 of the $1 million Spring Creek Watershed Flood Control Dams Conceptual Engineering Feasibility Study. Barrett said this study will create a conceptual design for two dams along Spring Creek as well as determine project costs and possible dam locations.
The study could begin in October and be completed by October 2022, Barrett said.
"That would just be the conceptual design phase. Obviously, to move beyond that would be a lot more funding," he said. "We're probably looking at decades rather than years for something to be built. This is the first step in moving forward."
Another $50,000 of city funds will go toward the $750,000 Upper San Jacinto River Basin Regional Sedimentation Study. The sedimentation study—which could begin in December or January and be completed in mid-2023— will determine causes of sedimentation in the San Jacinto River Basin and development a sedimentation management plan, Barrett said.
Lastly, the city agreed to give another $50,000 to help fund the $1 million Lake Conroe-Lake Houston Joint Reservoir Study, which will create a joint operations plan for dams on both lakes. The study could begin in spring 2022 and be completed by the summer of 2024, Barrett said.
All studies are 50% funded by the TWDB. The SJRA, city of Houston, Harris County Flood Control District and five municipal utility districts in The Woodlands area will also contribute to the studies.