subsidence in Harris County

Groundwater Management Area 14 to Hold Joint Planning Committee Meeting on January 20

Mark your calendar and sign up now. Groundwater Management Area 14 (GMA 14) will meet by webinar Wednesday, January 20th at 10 AM to continue the process of developing a set of desired future conditions for area aquifers. The standards will eventually determine groundwater availability and affect other issues such as subsidence.

GMA 14 includes the 15 colored counties above. Each color represents a different Conservation District. Montgomery County (dark blue) has the Lonestar Groundwater Conservation District.

GMA 14 engages in a joint planning process and includes representatives from Bluebonnet, Brazoria County, Lone Star, Lower Trinity, and Southeast Texas groundwater conservation districts, plus two subsidence districts. GMA 14 spans 20 counties. It is one of 16 groundwater management areas in the state of Texas. 

High Stakes

Groundwater availability is a growing concern in the management area due to subsidence, water table reduction, wells running dry, the triggering of geologic faults, impacts to infrastructure, foundation issues, and providing a sustainable basis for future growth.

The last available subsidence maps, for instance, showed the north Harris and south Montgomery County area sinking 2 feet relative to the Lake Houston Dam.

Pumping 115,000 acre feet per year would cause up to 3.25 feet of subsidence in southern MoCo. That’s far more than the 1-foot in the Desired Future Conditions definedby GMA14.
The same amount of pumping would cause up 3 feet of subsidence in parts of Kingwood and Huffmanand a foot or more in much of the rest of Harris County.

Because aquifers travel under several counties, what happens in northern Montgomery County can impact southern Harris and Galveston counties, especially where people live closer to sea level.

How Much is Safe to Pump?

In determining groundwater availability targets, this month’s meeting will focus on:

  • Socioeconomic Impacts Reasonably Expected to Occur
  • Feasibility of Achieving the Desired Future Conditions
  • Other Relevant Information (including fault movement). 

In all, GMA 14 considers nine factors in the join planning process: 

  • Aquifer Uses and Conditions
  • Water Supply Needs and Management Strategies
  • Hydrological Conditions
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Impact on Subsidence
  • Socioeconomic Impacts
  • Private Property Rights
  • Feasibility of Achieving the desired future conditions
  • Other Relevant Information





January 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM



The Groundwater Management Area 14 Meeting will begin at 10:00 A.M.
Click the following link to register for Groundwater Management Area 14 – January 20, 2021 Meeting:
Once the registration is completed, an email will be sent with information on logging into the meeting and/or phone numbers and access codes to dial into the meeting should you wish to attend by telephone. Please choose one method or the other to join to avoid audio feedback.

Note: Participation via video conference is not required. If you wish to address the Board, during the public comment period, please fill out and submit the online speaker registration form.

You may also register as a speaker at the beginning of the meeting. Registration as a speaker will require providing:

  1. first and last name;
  2. email address
  3. phone number.

Any person participating in the meeting must be recognized and identified by the Chairman each time they speak.

Go To Webinar Information

GMA 14 Speaker Registration Form



The agenda includes:

  1. Call to order;
  2. Confirmation of receipt of posted notices;
  3. Welcome and Introductions;
  4. Public comment;
  5. Discussion and possible action to approve minutes of November 18, 2020 GMA 14 Joint Planning Meeting;
  6. Update from Texas Water Development Board and discussion of any related items of interest to GMA 14;
Meeting will be convened as a meeting of the GMA 14 Joint Planning Interlocal Agreement Participants.
  1. Presentation and discussion by Districts or Interlocal Agreement Participants of recent activities of interest to or impacting the GMA 14 planning group;
  2. Discuss and consider current Desired Future Conditions as they relate to recent static water level measurements within GMA 14 Member Districts;
  3. Presentation, discussion and consideration of “socioeconomic impacts reasonably expected to occur” (as required by Texas Water Code 36.108 (d)(6));
  4. Presentation, discussion and consideration of “the feasibility of achieving the desired future conditions” (as required by Texas Water Code 36.108 (d)(8));
  5. Presentation, discussion and consideration of “any other information relevant to the specific Desired Future Condition” including but not limited to fault movement related to groundwater pumping (as required by Texas Water Code 36.108 (d)(9));
  6. Discussion and possible action regarding the DFCs and the path forward for GMA 14 to accomplish statutory mandates for Round 3 Joint Planning;
  7. GMA 14 Interlocal Agreement financial report;
GMA 14 Interlocal Agreement Participants meeting will be adjourned, and the meeting of the GMA 14 District Representatives will reconvene.
  1. Discussion and possible action regarding next meeting date, location, and agenda items;
  2. Meeting Adjourned.

GMA 14 – January 20, 2021 Agenda

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/14/2020

1234 Days since Hurricane Harvey