The Harris County Flood Control District has laid out a timeline and process for constructing a new stormwater detention basin in Friendswood.

The HCFCD held a public meeting March 28 to gather feedback on the Friendswood Regional Stormwater Detention Basin project.

The HCFCD has begun the preliminary engineering phase, involving a detailed evaluation of the site, developing three alternative basin design concepts and recommending one in its preliminary engineering report. The report will detail the downstream benefit of the project. This stage began in December and is anticipated to be complete this fall.

The district will also host another community engagement meeting by the end of 2023 to share the recommended design. Design and construction bids will follow.

The project, located in the Clear Creek watershed, sits on a 105-acre tract owned by Harris County and the HCFCD. It was identified from the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Planning study. The district aims to reduce the impact of flooding in the Lower Clear Creek watershed by constructing this stormwater retention basin to provide mitigation for future flood reduction projects.

“This project is one of the first steps in a long-term plan for flood reduction projects along Lower Clear Creek,” HCFCD Department Manager Jonathan St. Romain said.

Stormwater detention basins provide temporary storage for runoff of floodwaters, St. Romain explained. The basin will provide 1,000-1,700 acre-feet in storage. One acre-foot holds 325,851 gallons. The HCFCD is a no-impact agency, so it intends to avoid causing more flooding downstream.

“If we’re improving flooding in this area, we're not just flooding another area,” St. Romain said.

The project represents a partnership between the city of Friendswood, Galveston County and the Galveston County Consolidated Drainage District. Approximately $32.4 million is allocated for this project, with $13.5 million to be drawn from the $2.5 billion 2018 HCFCD bond program, according to the district’s website. Additional funding includes an estimated $8 million from the city of Friendswood, $7.5 million from Galveston County and $3.5 million from the GCCDD.