Houston Water, San Jacinto River Authority & Coastal Water Authority release Joint Reservoir Operations Plan to lower water levels to prevent flooding


HOUSTON – Lake Houston and Lake Conroe were built as and remain important parts of the City’s drinking water system. Over 4 million Houstonians and residents in the greater Houston region rely on water provided by the City of Houston.
Hurricane Harvey deposited tremendous amounts of silt in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. The silt physically changed the river’s ability to safely pass water flows during storms and created need for a significant dredging project to restore the river’s capacity.
The City of Houston, in partnership with the Coastal Water Authority, operates Lake Houston. The San Jacinto River Authority operates Lake Conroe. Together we have developed a temporary Joint Reservoir Operations Plan which will be in place until the US Army Corp of Engineers dredging project on the lower West Fork of the San Jacinto River is complete. The project is scheduled to begin this month and may take up to three years to complete.
The lakes will be operated with two different strategies.
Lake Conroe is located upstream from Lake Houston and pre-releases before a storm run the risk of pushing water into Lake Houston, which is not desirable. Therefore, the San Jacinto River Authority will conduct temporary seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe. Lake Conroe has a normal water level of 201 feet.
Apr 1 – May 31  Lake Conroe will be reduced and maintained at 200 feet.
Aug 1 – Sep 30  Lake Conroe will be reduced and maintained at 199 feet.
After each temporary seasonal lowering, Lake Conroe will be restored to normal water level.
Lake Houston, as the lowest lake on the river system, will be operated using a pre-release approach. Coastal Water Authority will conduct pre-storm releases from Lake Houston. Lake Houston has a normal pool elevation of 42.5 feet.
If the National Weather Service predicts greater than 3 inches of rain within the San Jacinto River basin in a 48-hour period, Coastal Water Authority will lower Lake Houston to 41.5 feet.
To track lake levels visit:
Lake Conroe –
Lake Houston –

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