What is Subsidence?

Subsidence literally means that the ground is sinking. The NFBWA has a plan to protect our fast-growing area, so there is no need to worry.

Subsidence Research

Stop the Sinking

Subsidence is the gradual sinking of the land surface over time. This sinking occurs when we overuse our groundwater supplies.

Pumping too much groundwater lowers the groundwater level and causes the soil that holds water to physically compact. Soil compaction permanently reduces the space in soil that can store water, threatening our future groundwater supplies.

When subsidence happens, our land surface is lowered, resulting in changing drainage patterns that increase the likelihood and severity of flooding. Because subsidence causes movement of the land surface, it also contributes to costly infrastructure damage.

“Groundwater is being depleted to the point that the ground is literally sinking. We can’t keep doing that forever.”

Water Force Simon

Simon VanDyk

Water Force Member and Willow Point MUD Director

How did we get here?

The Houston Region boomed in the early 1900’s. The oil and gas industry took off, the ship channel was broadening, and people were moving to the area. ​ Consequently, groundwater levels began to decline as groundwater usage increased. ​

Groundwater pumpage was not regulated until 1975, and by that time, some areas in the Houston Region had already sunk more than 10 feet. The regional water authorities, including the North Fort Bend Water Authority "NFBWA", were created to protect our area from future subsidence.

Partner with Us

Partner with the NFBWA to stop subsidence by conserving water and supporting the use of alternative waters in our area. Your support protects our community and provides a sustainable water source for generations to come.

Subsidence Hits Close to Home: Brownwood Development

A prime example of subsidence in our community is the former Brownwood development. Brownwood was a community founded in 1938 of about 500 single-family houses constructed on beautiful wooded lots along Galveston Bay. ​ Brownwood was originally 10 feet above sea level, but by 1978, subsidence caused the ground to sink more than 8 feet.

Twelve inches of rain fell on the subdivision in 1979, flooding the area. In 1983, Hurricane Alicia struck a final blow, and all homes in Brownwood were abandoned.

Today, the swampy area has been converted to the Baytown Nature Center.

Learn More about Brownwood

What is Subsidence Baytown Nature Center

What can we do to prevent subsidence?

Whatis Subsidence Projects3

Reduce Groundwater Pumpage

Population and water usage in our area continues to grow. Our projects are critical to supply a plentiful surface water source to the area.

Whatis Subsidence Larrys Toolbox

Conserve Water Today

You can partner with us to prevent subsidence by conserving water in your home and outdoors.

Whatis Subsidence Reclaimed Water

Install Reclaimed Water Systems

Reclaimed water systems reuse water for purposes such as irrigation and amenity lake fill, conserving our precious drinking water resources.

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