A study into the feasibility of a reservoir along Spring Creek that stalled last year may come back to life before the end of the summer, said Bruce Rieser, a director for The Woodlands Township and chairman of The Woodlands Drainage Task Force.
A $1.1 million grant application for projects including the reservoir study submitted to the Texas Water Development Board in July 2018 was denied in December. Rieser said at the time other options could include applying directly to Harris County Flood Control District.
At the July 18 board of directors meeting, Rieser said recent drainage task force meetings have included talks with representatives of local governmental bodies, including the San Jacinto River Authority, Woodlands Joint Powers Agency, Harris County Flood Control District, local municipal utility districts and other entities, to determine funding options for the study.
“I’m pleased to say we are currently in the process of getting a interlocal agreement signed between WJPA and the HCFCD,” Rieser said. “All of the MUDs at their meeting last night except for 386 have agreed to fund the initial portion of the study and allow [WJPA General Manager] Jim Stinson to enter into an interlocal agreement.”
Rieser said he anticipates an interlocal agreement could be signed within 30 days. A study would determine the feasibility of detention sites north and west of The Woodlands, which could provide better control over waters in Spring Creek.
Rieser said recent torrential short-term rain events have heightened the need for the study. He said he believed action such as that taken by Harris County last year—which revised development standards to require building to 500-year flood plain standards within the 100-year flood plain—would be effective in Montgomery County as well.
“[We have had] unprecedented stream flooding we’ve not seen before,” Rieser said of recent storms. “We really need to start thinking about long-term ramifications of what we’re doing development wise in the county.”
Stinson said in a July 19 phone interview the study is estimated to cost about $100,000, and it will examine the drainage area of Spring Creek upstream from The Woodlands.
"[It will] determine if there is one or more sites where a stormwater detention facility could be constructed," Stinson said.
If a site is located, additional analysis will be done to determine the size and specific details needed for a detention facility, he said. WJPA and other entities would then examine how the sites could be acquired and examine funding options for construction.
"If one or more sites can be identified that could be developed into one or more reservoirs that would provide the type of detention needed during a major storm," Stinson said.
He said it is too early to estimate a potential date for construction of a reservoir, if the study is successful.
This story was updated to include comments from Jim Stinson.