Three Meetings This Week Will Affect Future of Water in Lake Houston Area

Three meetings this week will affect water issues in the Lake Houston Area. Here’s a brief rundown on each and how you can participate.

Below: a little more about each meeting.

NE Water Purification Plant Update

This is an update on construction progress of the Northeast Water Purification Plant. The massive multi-billion project stretches from Lake Houston to the northeast corner of Beltway 8. Water was in the news last week when half the state was forced to boil water because of power outages at treatment plants. I sure hope the City plans to build a massive power-generation backup facility as part of this plant. If the presentation doesn’t address the subject, I hope someone asks.

The sprawling NE Water Purification Plant Expansion. Photographed Jan. 1, 2021

The new treatment facility is being constructed next to the current plant. When complete in 2024, it will provide 320 million gallons per day of treated water capacity in addition to the current 80 million gallons per day treated water capacity. It will help sustain growth by providing enough surface water to meet 80% of the region’s needs in 2035.

Register for the online meeting at:

Lone Star Groundwater/GMA-14 Meeting

At its last meeting, the LSGWCD board’s legal counsel spent 90 minutes trying to explain that they were indeed concerned about subsidence. But she failed to address the fact that one of their consultants told GMA-14 that LSGWCD would not consider subsidence in their desired future conditions (DFCs). Then the board deferred any decisions on subsidence and DFCs or even initiating the second phase of its subsidence study. At this month’s GMA 14 meeting, items 7, 8 and 10 all address DFCs.

The amount of groundwater that LSGWD would like to pump would create approximately 3 feet of subsidence near the Harris/Montgomery County line but only one foot at the Lake Houston Dam. This would essentially “tilt” the lake upstream and reduce the gradient of the East and West Forks. That could contribute to increased flooding between Conroe, The Woodlands, and the Lake Houston Area.

What will LSGWCD’s position be on subsidence this week? This is getting better than a soap opera.

Register for the GMA-14 Planning Committee meeting at

The virtual platform for the meeting is Go To Webinar.

SJRA Board Agenda

Two unusual items on the SJRA agenda this month caught my eye:

6A) Election of officers to the board of directors. The governor recently appointed two new board members to the SJRA and reappointed Kaaren Cambio. And the term of board president Lloyd Tisdale expired. The reshuffling will require the board to select new officers. Who the board members elect among themselves to replace Tisdale could have long-term consequences for board priorities, such downstream flood mitigation.

6B) Consideration of a “public engagement policy.” This comes out of SJRA’s growing regional role and a Texas Sunset Advisory Commission requirement to improve public engagement efforts. Key components of the resolution:

  • Seeking general public input in advance of major actions and projects.
  • Proactively anticipating and interacting with those ultimately affected by SJRA decisions.

Register for the SJRA Go To Webinar meeting at: Use meeting ID 958-527467.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/23/2021 and updated at 4:08 PM to clarify Item 6A on SJRA Agenda

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