Texas Gulf Coast Groundwater and Land Subsidence Program

Released: July 2017

Audience: General public, partner agencies, municipalities, groundwater resource managers

Base Data: USGS Water Data for the Nation

Link: https://txpub.usgs.gov/houston_subsidence/

Press: USGS News Release

Select Media: Houston Chronicle

The Texas Gulf Coast Groundwater and Land Subsidence Program web application illustrates how groundwater, sediment compaction and land-elevation change are related in the Houston-Galveston region in Texas. The new app was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Texas Water Science Center and is available online.

The Houston-Galveston region represents one of the largest areas of land-surface elevation change, or subsidence, in the United States. Most of the land subsidence in this region has occurred as a direct result of groundwater withdrawals for municipal supply, commercial and industrial use and irrigation. This new tool can help resource managers make informed decisions on water usage.

The new USGS viewer shows how water levels have changed over time and how groundwater demands have affected land subsidence in the region. Scientists created this tool using the largest subsidence data set in the US with more than 40 years of groundwater and compaction observations. This long-term data was essential to the project, and was collected in cooperation with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, City of Houston, Fort Bend Subsidence District, the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District and the Brazoria County Groundwater Conservation District.