SJRA Considering Input on Lake Conroe Reservoir Forecasting Tool Thursday, 6PM

San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) will hold public meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., via webinar and telephone conference, to discuss its ongoing Lake Conroe Reservoir Forecasting Tool Project.

Accurately determining inflow during a flood theoretically lets dam operators determine how much water to release and when. That, in turn, helps protect properties both upstream and downstream to the extent possible.

During Harvey, many felt that the SJRA released too much water too quickly – 79,000 cubic feet per second at one point. That, they say, flooded homes downstream unnecessarily when capacity still existed in the reservoir. Lawsuits are still working their way through the courts.

Many also complained about the lack of warning for the massive release which inundated homes as people slept.

Residents trying to escape as Harvey's floodwaters rose
Senior residents of Kingwood Village Estates trying to escape as Harvey’s floodwaters rose.

Additional Information

The Lake Conroe Reservoir Forecasting Tool Project addresses flood protection in the San Jacinto River Watershed.

One goal: to anticipate peak water level in Lake Conroe during rainfall events based on:

  • Weather forecasts
  • Observed rainfall
  • Lake levels
  • Other data. 

A second goal: to predict peak release rates of stormwater from Lake Conroe.

The SJRA says this will help improve communication with Offices of Emergency Management and the general public during rainfall events. 

SJRA expects completion of the project by early spring 2021. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and SJRA have funded the project.

Ask Questions, Express Views

You can view and participate in the meeting remotely via the webinar link below to express your views of the Project.

Questions or requests for additional information about the SJRA Reservoir Forecasting Tool may be directed to Mr. Matt Barrett, P.E., Division Engineer, SJRA, 1577 Dam Site Road, Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas 77304, Tel. (936) 588-3111. 

SJRA requests those who intend to express their views to contact Mr. Barrett either in writing or by telephone in advance of the meeting. 

To Participate Via Webinar and/or Comment

Only those participating via Webinar using the GoToWebinar App will be able to provide comments during the meeting.

Webinar Link:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please use Webinar ID: 372-655-099

To Participate Via Phone and Listen

If you choose to participate via conference call using the number below, you will NOT have the opportunity to provide comments during the designated portion of the meeting. The conference call phone number is provided for LISTENING PURPOSES ONLY.  

Telephone conference call phone number: (562) 247-8321 and the audio access code is 150-445-802

Editorial Comment

I, for one, hope they use their new Reservoir Forecasting Tool to release floodwater at safe rates, although that was not explicitly stated in the SJRA press release on the meeting. Releasing at safer rates may mean releasing water earlier or holding it longer to flatten peaks. In my opinion, SJRA should hold floodwater as high as they safely can…as long as they safely can. I hope this new tool helps SJRA do that.

I’d rather see floodwater in Lake Conroe than in Kingwood’s Town Center.

Kingwood Town Center Apartments after Lake Conroe Release. Yes, that’s the top of an SUV that failed to evacuate in time.

Posted by Bob Rehak on September 9th, 2020

1107 Days since Hurricane Harvey