Feasibility of Water Supply for City of Houston Subsidence Zones Five and Six

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by Kathlie S. Jeng Sheu, Univ of Houston, Houston, United States,
Jerry Rogers, Univ of Houston, Houston, United States,
William P. Bulloch, Univ of Houston, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility of providing surface water to the Harris Galveston Coastal Subsidence District (HGCSD) Zones Five and Six (located in North Houston and Harris County) by the year 2000. Zones Five and Six are served by thirty-one City of Houston groundwater pump stations and one hundred fifty MUD districts. Groundwater withdrawal must be reduced so that no more than 20% of total water use is from groundwater in Zone Five by the year 2000 and in Zone Six by the year 2005. In this study, the demand growth in the study area is projected by using data from Metcalf & Eddy (M&E) and HGCSD. The two different projections create a band of future water demand ranging from a low of 26.3 MGD for Zone Five (only) to a high of 110 MGD for the entire study area. There are two options (North Option and South Option) to provide surface water to the study area. The North Option consists of design and construction of the new Northeast surface water treatment plant and associated major transmission mains. The South Option requires the expansion of the existing East Water Treatment Plant (instead of building the new Northeast treatment plant) and design and construction of a portion of the North Option transmission mains. The cost to meet Zone Five and Six surface water needs ranges from a low of $ 106.5 million for existing City of Houston customers only to a high of $ 404.7 million for the entire study area. The extreme cost to serve all of Zone Five and Six, which still excludes distribution costs, makes the project impractical until a funding source (other than the City of Houston) can be identified.

Subject Headings: Water treatment plants | Surface water | Water demand | Water supply systems | Urban areas | Land subsidence | Groundwater |

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