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Harris County pursues capturing flood waters, storing underground

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HOUSTON – County commissioners in the Houston area have approved a $160,000 study this month to investigate whether capturing floodwaters and storing them underground is feasible.

The Houston Chronicle reports researchers from Texas A&M University will study whether the impact of floods can be reduced by using high-powered pumps to whisk water into aquifers or old oil wells underground.

Harris County thinks floodwater could help serve Houston's increasing water demands and preserve water for drought conditions.

If implemented, a water pump project would be a significant departure from the district's traditional flood-control strategy, which relies on straightening and widening channels, lining them with concrete and building detention ponds.

This follows devastating floods in 2015 and 2016 that killed dozens and flooded more than 15,000 homes.