We are planning to use more water than the groundwater aquifers can replenish (reducing aquifer levels as much as 180 feet). The yellow stars on this map represent upstream areas that are sinking more than downstream areas - that's where flooding is likely.
Sinking (or subsidence) will be uneven causing water to pool - even at higher elevation locations - and will reduce drainage capacity. Excessive groundwater use will also activate faults. Existing fault lines are depicted on this map as black dashed lines.
Simply put subsidence increases taxpayer's exposure to flood losses and fault activation losses.
If we expand the use of surface water and reduce demand for groundwater we can eliminate future sinking. This map shows existing surface water transmission lines in black and potential expansion plans for future groundwater pumping reductions in areas experiencing subsidence.
This solution would help us avoid the problems with subsidence like Harris County experienced that led to devastating flooding during Hurricane Harvey and other large rain events.
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