The primary function of LID 15 is to prevent Brazos River flooding, and Lake Sommerville is the closest flood control reservoir in the watershed. Lake Sommerville is approximately 100 miles upstream of LID 15 and is located about 10 miles north of Brenham, Texas. On April 22, Fort Bend County hosted a tour of the Lake Sommerville dam and spillways with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE is considered a world-wide leader in dam and levee safety, so the tour was attended by numerous Levee Improvement District (LID) officials from Fort Bend County, including members of the LID 15 Board of Directors.
The Lake Somerville dam (pictured below) can hold back more than 507,500 acre-feet (165 billion gallons) of water. This incredible volume of water has a major impact on Brazos River flood conditions downstream in LID 15. Therefore, the operations and maintenance of Lake Somerville directly impacts emergency responses across Fort Bend County. The tour allowed LID representatives to get an up-close view and gain first-hand experience with reservoir operations on the Brazos River. The event was also a networking opportunity to meet with other professionals that manage flood risks in southeast Texas.