Several water related studies being conducted in and around Montgomery County. Some are ongoing and others are wrapping up.
One study is being conducted by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (www.lonestargcd.org). The goal of this study is to determine the amount of subsidence (sinking land) that is being caused by pumping water in our area. Groundwater (underground water) is pumped from the various aquifers to provide water for our everyday usage. When the study is completed, LSGCD will know if the subsidence is acceptable or if there is too much. If there is too much subsidence, we may need to reduce the amount of water pumped from underground aquifers. The other source of everyday water is surface water. This is the water from lakes, streams, and rivers. Using this water is more expensive but if studies show that the subsidence levels are too high, our area must compensate usage with the surface water.
San Jacinto River Authority (www.sjra.net) manages surface water to create an alternative water supply source for Montgomery County. Some areas of Montgomery County, such as The Woodlands, South County and parts of Conroe already use the surface water from SJRA. Homeowners in other areas of Montgomery County see a SJRA fee as part of their water bill, which is slated for the infrastructure and future expansion of providing surface water. SJRA also has flood management as part of their charter. They currently manage the water levels of Lake Conroe through the Lake Conroe Dam. SJRA does have the authority to work on flood mitigation throughout Montgomery County, but do not currently collect fees or allocate any income towards this division.
Montgomery County partnered with SJRA, The City of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District and recently published a new study: https://sanjacstudy.org. In part, the study will determine which flood mitigation projects should be addressed, and in what priority. Potential projects supported by the results of this study are intended to reduce flood risks to the people in the watershed area.
Montgomery County has seen such exponential growth recently and can no longer rely on the County’s past development requirements to create resilient communities. If Montgomery County does not address these issues and improve our building and development standards, each added business complex, neighborhood and road extension will only further compound our drainage and flooding problems. We need our officials to continue to work towards beneficial water efforts, whether it is affordable water bills or protection from our properties being flooded.