US Army Corps of Engineers
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Corps Water Management System (CWMS) Forecast

Galveston District water management professionals use the Corps Water Management System (CWMS) to help plan reservoir operations when precipitation is expected.

You can view a recent CWMS forecast here:  CWMS Forecast (as of July 24, 2020)

Note: This CWMS forecast was created using the best data available at the time. It may not accurately reflect current or future conditions. We provide updated forecasts whenever the National Weather Service substantially changes its precipitation forecast.

Addicks and Barker Dams

More than 70 years ago, in response to floods that devastated Houston in 1929 and 1935, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) constructed the Addicks and Barker Dams. When completed in 1948, the reservoirs occupied rural and agricultural land in far western Harris County and eastern Fort Bend County. Today, the reservoirs straddle Interstate 10 in an area that is crowded with homes and businesses.

Addicks and Barker reservoirs are designed to control flooding in Houston by capturing rainwater that falls to the west of the city and releasing it in a controlled manner into Buffalo Bayou, which flows through the center of Houston and eastward to the Gulf of Mexico. Though Addicks and Barker are old, they are regularly inspected as part of USACE’s Dam Safety Program. This program demonstrates our commitment to protecting lives, property, and the environment by ensuring that all dams are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to the highest safety standards. The Dam Safety Program provides a framework to ensure that short-term issues are addressed, and long-term viability is maintained for the safety of nearby communities. Such regular monitoring has resulted in recent improvements to the gates and outlet structures on both dams.

Galveston District's Dam Safety Program

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a rigorous Dam Safety Program that requires continuous inspections of all federally-operated dams nationwide. This program demonstrates our commitment to protecting lives, property, and the environment through continuous assessment, communication, and management. Even though Addicks and Barker Reservoirs are dry much of the time, they are continuously monitored by a full-time staff.

The way USACE evaluates dam safety has changed. In the past, we based our risk assessments solely on a dam’s structural integrity. Now we use a formula that also considers the potential consequences of dam failure. For example, a dam failure in a large metropolitan area like Houston is more likely to cause major damage, than a dam in a rural area.

Based on this new risk-assessment formula, USACE identified two areas of concern at Addicks and Barker that resulted in both dams being designated “extremely high risk.”

  1. The structures (or gates) in the dams that open and close to permit outflow into Buffalo Bayou, and
  2. The ends of the dams

This does not mean that Addicks and Barker are in imminent danger of failing, but the structural issues identified above, combined with the fact that the nation’s fourth largest city is located downstream of the dams, resulted in the “high-risk” designation.

The “extremely high risk” designation places Addicks and Barker high on the list for funding and expedites all actions related to these two dams.

Galveston District Houston Project Office
Mailing Address:
USACE Galveston District
P.O. Box 218747
Houston, TX  77218

Email: addicksandbarker@usace.army.mil 
Phone: 409-621-6990
Toll-free: 1-800-841-7786

March 9, 2016 Public Meeting

HOUSTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District held a public meeting March 9, 2016, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bear Creek Community Center, 3055 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX 77084, to update area residents and business owners about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, the 2016 Addicks and Barker construction plans and the proposed Section 216 Study. The USACE Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of $71,902,340 to Granite Construction Company in 2015 for construction of new outlet structures at the Addicks and Barker Dams in west Houston.