Water is essential for societies to flourish, and our firm was founded to help communities provide safe drinking water, maintain sanitary treatment systems and control dangerous flood waters. We continue to apply comprehensive, environmentally responsible best practices to a wide range of projects that can maximize water quantity and quality while minimizing cost and energy use. Our innovations have helped clients address their challenges through pioneering reservoirs, treatment processes, spillway designs, water filtration methods, erosion control techniques and reuse/alternative supplies.

Integrated Water Resource Planning

Integrated water resource planning empowers community leaders and water managers with a greater understanding and practical solutions for their water supply challenges today and in the future. For utilities, a strong customized water planning strategy will convert resource challenges to opportunities, support system adaptability and resiliency, and mitigate uncertainties. For communities, it will enhance quality of life, protect natural resources, and create a long-term legacy of resource management.

In 1894, Freese and Nichols founder John Hawley became one of Texas’ first water consulting engineers. Since then, our firm has provided actionable answers to clients’ water, wastewater, and stormwater management issues using integrated water resource planning techniques.

  • Surface water supply modeling and development
  • Climate resilience
  • Groundwater science and planning
  • Storage and conveyance
  • Resource recovery and advanced treatment
  • Stormwater management
  • Demand management
  • Environmental science, permitting and regulatory compliance
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Aquifer Storage and Recovery Demonstration Study

Tarrant Regional Water District, Texas

Bois d’Arc Lake

North Texas Municipal Water District

Bois d’Arc Lake Operations Plan

North Texas Municipal Water District

Comprehensive Planning Services

Eastern Oklahoma County Partnership

Municipal Water Conservation Planning Tool

Texas Water Development Board

Water Conservation Study

San Antonio Water System, Texas

Water Rights Permitting for System Operations Permit

Brazos River Authority, Texas

Raw Water Supply Master Plan

San Jacinto River Authority, Texas

Water Supply Resiliency Plan Phase One

North Texas Municipal Water District

Water Resource Design

Freese and Nichols’ expertise in water resources covers the complete project life cycle – from planning, design and construction management to operation, maintenance and regulatory compliance for heavy civil infrastructure such as dams and reservoirs, levees, canals and flood protection systems. Our team integrates multiple engineering disciplines to fully support your needs, including geotechnical, structural, hydrology and hydraulics, civil design, coastal, mechanical, electrical and emergency management.

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Specific Services

Planning and Analysis
  • Water supply and flood control feasibility assessments
  • Geological and geotechnical investigations
  • Seepage, settlement and foundation modeling
  • Hydrologic modeling, including flood and PMF studies
  • Hydraulic modeling, including breach analyses and inundation mapping
  • Risk management and risk-based decision making
  • Gate and reservoir operation plans
Design Services
  • Dams: earthen, concrete gravity, slab-and-buttress, masonry
  • Levees: embankments, floodwalls, closure sections, interior drainage
  • Embankments: foundation remediation, seepage, stability
  • Spillways: uncontrolled, gates and hoists, labyrinth and piano key, outlet works
  • Rivers and canals: water control structures, drop structures, armoring
  • Specialty services: dewatering systems, terminal storage reservoirs, anchoring, reservoir dredging, dam decommissioning
  • Instrumentation and monitoring programs
Regulatory Compliance
  • Dam and levee safety inspections
  • Emergency action plans and tabletop exercises
  • Operation and maintenance plans
  • Comprehensive facility reviews
  • Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA)
  • State and federal dam safety agency coordination
  • Environmental permitting

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Bois d’Arc Lake Dam and Reservoir

North Texas Municipal Water District

Dry Comal Creek Flood Retarding Structure

Comal County, Texas

Knight Flume Replacement Design

Gulf Coast Water Authority, Texas

Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir

City of Waco, Texas

Lake Delton Dam Repair

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Lake Ralph Hall Dam

Lake Ralph Hall and Leon Hurse Dam

Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Texas

Upper Brushy Creek Dam 7

Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District, Texas

Toledo Bend Dam Gate Rehabilitation

Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation, Texas and Louisiana

Lewis Creek Dam Spillway Improvements

Entergy Corporation

Liberty County Levee Repairs

Liberty County Water Control Improvement District No. 5, Texas

Clear Creek Spillway Replacement

City of Duncan, Oklahoma

Plum Creek Watershed Flood Retarding Structure No. 6 Rehabilitation

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Stormwater and Flood Resilience

Freese and Nichols helps guide federal, state and local entities through all steps of a stormwater and flood risk reduction program, applying expertise in the latest modeling approaches, effective design and policy development. We believe in responsibly managing stormwater and flood risk to improve the quality of life in our communities – now and in the future. We integrate environmental responsibility, technical excellence and enhanced service to deliver scalable, innovative and comprehensive solutions.

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Specific Services

Stormwater Management
  • Stormwater drainage master plans
  • Stormwater infrastructure
  • Capital Improvement Programs (CIP)
  • Green infrastructure and low-impact development
  • Stormwater utility fees
  • Water-quality controls
  • Design criteria and ordinances
  • Floodplain management and development reviews
Flood Risk and Mitigation
  • Floodplain modeling and mapping
  • FEMA letters of map change (LOMCs)
  • Flood mitigation
  • Flood warning and flood forecasting
  • Dam design and rehabilitation
  • Levee design and accreditation
  • State and federal grant programs
  • Regional detention/retention
Ecosystem Restoration
  • Erosion assessments
  • Sedimentation analysis
  • Stream stabilization and restoration
  • Wetland restoration and creation
  • Sediment transport and stable channel modeling
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Bioengineered channel stabilization
  • Natural channel design

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Arlington Heights Drainage Improvements

City of Fort Worth, Texas

Cooley Creek and Lightning Creek Flood Risk Studies

Oklahoma Water Resources Board

Fort Hood Drainage Master Plan

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Hurricane Florence Response

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

MLK Jr. Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Stormwater Conveyance Improvements

City of Austin, Texas

Modeling, Assessment and Awareness Project (MAAPnext)

Harris County Flood Control District, Texas

Program Management for Watershed Studies

City of Fayetteville, North Carolina

Rainfall Wrangler

Freese and Nichols Research and Development Project

Citywide Drainage Master Plan

City of Fredericksburg, Texas

Stream VC(A)-1 Watershed Study

City of Arlington, Texas

Coastal Resilience and Navigation Services

Coastal communities are facing serious challenges, such as erosion, sea level rise, increased storms and storm surges, and more frequent natural disasters.

Freese and Nichols’ national coastal experts work closely with our clients to develop and implement improvement strategies with a holistic approach considering the unique needs of each community. We help protect built infrastructure and focus on natural and nature-based solutions such as dune restoration, wetland conservation, and living shorelines that can enhance the inherent strength of our coasts.

Our solutions promote long-term resiliency, preservation, and protection of our coasts for future generations.

Agency Partnerships

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Texas General Land Office
  • Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
  • Cities, ports and NGOs
Start a Coastal and Navigation Services Project
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Specific Services

Planning and Asset Management
  • Vulnerability assessments
  • Hazard mitigation plans
  • Zoning and urban planning
  • Asset management services
  • W/WW master planning
  • Stormwater/flood master planning
  • Coastal watershed studies
  • Dredged material management plans
  • Compound flooding modeling
  • Wave/storm surge/numerical modeling
  • Fluvial stormwater modeling in coastal watersheds
  • Hydrodynamic and coastal sediment transport modeling
Engineering, Design and Management
  • Design
  • Geotechnical services
  • Program and construction management
  • Fluvial/riparian restoration
  • Dredging and dredged material management
Engineering, Design and Management Project Types
  • Levees
  • Floodwalls/seawalls
  • Jetties/breakwaters
  • Revetments
  • Pump stations
  • Natural channels
  • Channel geometries improvements
  • Stormwater structures
  • Hard armoring solutions
  • In-bay terraces
  • Marshes and island restoration
  • Beaches and dunes
  • Other living shorelines
Environmental, Permitting and Remediation Services
  • Wetlands assessments
  • Environmental permitting
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Monitoring
  • NEPA compliance assessments
  • Environmental impact statements
  • Natural resource management plans
  • Mitigation banking
  • Beneficial use of dredged material (BUDMAT) solutions
Ecosystems Services
  • Habitat restoration
  • Marsh creation
  • Terracing
  • Beach and dune restoration
  • Sediment management
  • Living shorelines
Navigation Tools
  • Beneficial use of dredged material
  • Channel geometries improvements
  • Dredged material management plans

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Bahia Grande Rookery Island and Wetland Restoration Preliminary Design

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lavaca Bay Receiving Water Monitoring Program

Formosa Plastics Corporation

Schicke Point Shoreline Protection

Schicke Point Restoration Partners

South Texas Gateway Terminal

Buckeye Partners LP

Bayou Eau Noire Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation

Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

Big Lake Weir and Overbank Assessment

City of Plano, Texas

Coastal Texas Restoration Study Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement

Texas General Land Office

Oyster Restoration Feasibility

Texas General Land Office

Port of Liberty Navigation Study

Trinity River Authority, Texas

Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management, Orange County

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sediment Budget Analysis & Modeling

Texas General Land Office

West Lake Pontchartrain

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Innovative Water Supplies/Reuse

With increasing demand for clean water, traditional sources have given way to a broader focus on innovative water management strategies that consider reuse, desalination, groundwater storage and other options. Drawing upon the expertise of our water, wastewater and stormwater teams, Freese and Nichols helps communities provide a secure water supply through customized, innovative solutions. We assist with planning, design, water rights, environmental permits and state financing.

  • Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR):  Led numerous planning studies and designs to deliver safe and effective augmentation of drinking water supplies using Indirect Potable Reuse.
  • Direct Potable Reuse (DPR): Designed, permitted and started up the first DPR facility in North America.
  • Water Reuse Planning: Assisted with dozens of evaluations and implementations of water reuse as a supplemental source.
  • Upgrades: Extended operation of the second DPR project in North America through addition of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection.
  • Seawater Desalination: Served as owner representative for the first municipal seawater desalination plant in Texas.
  • Brackish Groundwater Desalination: Evaluated and piloted nanofiltration membranes as an energy-efficient alternative to reverse osmosis membranes for brackish groundwater desalination.
  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): Led a drinking water well prototype, including design, permitting support, construction, water quality evaluation, infrastructure configuration and testing.
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Brackish Groundwater Desalination (Study, Funding, Piloting)

North Alamo Water Supply Corporation, Texas

Desalination Siting, Permitting and Owner’s Representation

City of Corpus Christi, Texas

Recycled Water System Hydraulic Study and Water Quality Model

San Antonio Water System, Texas

West Loop Water Supply and Reuse Integration Plan

City of Cleburne, Texas