Progress in Controlling Subsidence in the Houston Area

by Ronald J. Neighbors, Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence, District, Friendswood, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


The withdrawal of large quantities of groundwater in Harris and Galveston counties of Texas has resulted in a critical subsidence problem, especially in the low lying areas along the coast. Concern about loss of elevation, measured in excess of 9. 8 feet (3. 0 m) along the Houston Ship Channel, led to the creation of the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District in 1975. Regulation of groundwater withdrawal by the District and surface water conversion in these two counties have effected a 16% decrease in groundwater pumpage during the past nine years. Considerable progress has been achieved in the coastal area where subsidence posed the greatest threat for property damage and loss. The Subsidence District is currently developing a new District Plan outlining regulatory strategies to control subsidence throughout the two counties.

Subject Headings: Groundwater | Land subsidence | Coastal environment | Water conservation | Water resources | Groundwater depletion | Groundwater supply | Ships | Texas | United States

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