Barker Reservoir waterflow measurement tests begin Jan. 26

Galveston District
Published Jan. 25, 2022
Downstream view of the Addicks Dam, in Houston Texas.

View of the dowstream of Addicks Dam in Houston, Texas.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District, in coordination with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), will start releases from Barker reservoir to take flow measurements through the new outlet structures. These flow measurements will start as early as Jan. 26, 2022, and continue through Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.

Once the measurement testing is complete, the Galveston District expects the reservoir to continue draining for an additional 7-10 days.

A new outlet structure at Barker Dam was put into operation on February 14, 2020. These field measurements will be used to validate and calibrate the outflows from the dam’s new outlet structures when the pools inside the reservoirs are at various elevations. These tests ensure Addicks and Barker Dams are in compliance with USACE dam operations policies and guidelines.

Addicks Reservoir will be closed to start generating the pool elevation for its corresponding measurements once releases resume from Barker Reservoir. USACE Dam and Levee Safety staff will be monitoring the reservoirs during this time to ensure there is no risk to the reservoirs. Flows downstream of the reservoirs may be slightly reduced because only one reservoir will be releasing; however, the Buffalo Bayou Watershed will not be impacted.

USACE Water Management will monitor the weather continuously and a contingency plan is in place in the event the Greater Houston Metro Area receives excess rainfall during the testing period. Additionally, should sufficient rainfall occur during the testing period, the time needed for the reservoir closures may be shortened.

Trails and other recreational facilities around Barker Reservoir will become accessible again once the water recedes; however, Patterson Road, Bear Creek Agrilife Center and some areas nearby will continue to be impacted at Addicks Reservoir.

The Addicks and Barker dams and reservoirs are federally funded and operated projects located adjacent to each other on the upper watershed of Buffalo Bayou. The dams were constructed in the 1940s in response to damaging floods on Buffalo Bayou that struck Houston in 1929 and 1935. They are designed to collect rainfall and release that rainfall down Buffalo Bayou at a controlled rate that reduces risk of flooding in downtown Houston and the urban areas west of downtown.

For more news and information visit the Addicks and Barker Facebook page.


Office of Public Affairs
2000 Fort Point Road, Galveston TX 77550

Release no. 22-003