At a meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, commissioners voted to recommend a study of technology that could prevent future flooding by redirecting stormwater to underground aquifers. Commissioners also advanced land acquisitions for the Cypress Creek Greenway project, which will provide flood relief as well as recreational space.
Commissioners recommended conducting a joint study that will be funded by the county and the Harris County Flood Control District to investigate the feasibility of using new technology to pump stormwater into underground aquifers in Precinct 4.
“The idea is that when you have a big flood, you pump it underground, and [water is available] later when you need it,” Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle said.
Cagle said there could be four benefits if the concept is successful:
- Stormwater can be removed during a flood.
- Water can be obtained from aquifers during a drought.
- The project could reduce problems with subsidence, or the sinking of land.
- The project could prevent well water from becoming brackish from an influx of seawater.
An initial $150,000-$175,000 investment for the study would be split between the county and the HCFCD, Cagle said.
If the project is determined to be feasible it could be used countywide and at the state and national levels, Cagle said.
Commissioners also recommended acquiring five additional tracts of land for Phase B of the Cypress Creek Greenway project in Precinct 4. The ongoing project includes the acquisition of land on the north and south side of Cypress Creek, Precinct 4 Parks Director Dennis Johnston said. The Cypress Creek Greenway will connect parks from west of Hwy. 290 to Jesse H. Jones Nature Park in Humble near Hwy. 59.
Cagle said the greenway provides several benefits: It is a recreational area with trails and other park amenities as well as a wildlife preservation area, and it provides a place for water to flow during floods.
The parks department and flood control district each spend about $2 million annually on acquisitions for the project, which Johnston said will take about three years to complete.