Tag Archive for: GMA 14

LSGWCD Rejects Subsidence Limit as Any Part of Desired Future Conditions

The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGWCD) thumbed its nose at the rest of Southeast Texas when it rejected any mention of subsidence limitations in “desired future conditions (DFCs)” for Montgomery County. The statement came two hours, seven minutes and 15 seconds into a Groundwater Management Area (GMA) 14 meeting last month.

“At this time we can’t support the use of DFCs for subsidence in Montgomery County,” said James Beach, an engineering consultant for LSGWCD.

It’s unclear who authorized the consultant to make this statement. Those who follow LSGWCD meetings cannot remember the board discussing such a statement in any open meeting.

Bad Timing

This comes two months before a deadline to finalize DFCs for the entire GMA and two years after the debate about subsidence started. Since 2018, LSGCD and GMA 14 partners have debated various groundwater withdrawal/subsidence scenarios.

Run D was the most popular scenario for a long time. It called for leaving 70% of groundwater in place and causing no more than 1 foot of subsidence. However, withdrawing 30% of groundwater produced far more subsidence in Harris County.
The same models showed 2.5 feet of subsidence in south Montgomery County.

GMA 14 covers most of southeast Texas. It includes 19 counties clustered into 7 groundwater conservation districts. Rules adopted by the group apply to every conservation district and county in the area.

Members of GMA 14

LSGWCD has argued in favor of virtually unlimited groundwater pumping ever since its board became elected. Quadvest, a large, private water producer in Montgomery County successfully backed candidates running for the LSGWCD board on a platform of “restoring affordable water.” Both the Board and Quadvest have argued ever since – contrary to scientific evidence – that subsidence is not an issue in Montgomery County. They even produced a study (Phase One) to prove the point. It basically amounted to a survey of scientific literature mashed up with public comments.

HARC Study Points Out Limitations of LSGWCD Study

However, a report issued today by HARC calls several of the report’s conclusions “misleading” regarding:

  • Compaction data of various aquifers in Montgomery County.
  • Not mentioning well-known limitations on use of models for Montgomery County aquifers.
  • Focusing more on subsidence in Harris and Galveston Counties than on subsidence in Montgomery County.

The HARC Study also points out limitations on the use of data in LSGCD’s Phase One study. For instance, the latter was:

  • Primarily a survey of scientific literature, not conditions in Montgomery County.
  • It didn’t discuss drought.
  • Nor did it discuss oil and gas production.
  • It drew unjustified conclusions from limited data.
  • The language was imprecise and subjective.
  • It relied more on public comment than scientific data.

To read the full Phase 1 report and an Executive Summary, follow the links at the bottom of their Subsidence Page.https://www.lonestargcd.org/subsidence

Two Subsidence-Related Items On LSGWCD Agenda for Tuesday

LSGWCD will hold a board meeting Tuesday night starting at 6 pm. The agenda contains two related items.

  • 14. Receive information from District’s technical consultants regarding subsidence studies and/or discussion regarding the same –Samantha Stried Reiter and/or District’s technical consultant(s)
    • a) Discussion, consideration, and possible action to approve Subsidence Study Phase 2 Scope of Work.
  • 15. Groundwater Management Area 14 – update the board on the issues related to joint planning activities and development of desired future conditions in GMA 14 – Samantha Reiter and/or District’s technical consultant(s)
    • a) Discussion, consideration, and possible action on any items related to Lone Star GCD’s proposal(s) to and/or participation in GMA 14.

Re: the second point, a water expert I queried said there is no way LSGWCD can opt out of GMA 14. The reference is likely to whether they want to participate financially with other groundwater conservation districts in funding the operations of GMA 14.

How to Attend In Person or Online

In-Person Participation

If you choose to participate in person, you WILL have the opportunity to provide live comments during the designated portion of the hearings or meeting.

Online Participation

If you choose to participate via the Zoom webinar link below, you WILL have the opportunity to provide live comments during the designated portion of the hearings or meeting.

If you choose to participate in the webinar via the Zoom App, you will need to pre- register via the URL meeting link above to get a password emailed to you in advance of the webinar. You will use the password emailed to you during pre- registration when you log into the app to join the webinar. You WILL have the opportunity to provide live comments during the designated portion of the hearings or meeting.

Participation via the videoconference webinar is not required and only necessary if you plan to make public comment during any hearing or the meeting. If you plan to make public comment during any hearing or meeting, please contact the District at (936) 494-3436 or info@lonestargcd.org to register as a speaker during public comment. 

Please indicate whether you would like to make public comment during the management plan hearing, permit hearing and/or board meeting. You must also register as a speaker when logging into the webinar by providing your name and email address. You can pre-register for the webinar. Any person participating in the meeting must be recognized and identified by a moderator before they speak.

Watching or Listening but Not Commenting

If you do NOT want to make live public comment and/or you choose to participate in the public hearings and meeting using the conference call number or live broadcast link below, you will NOT have the opportunity to provide live comments during the designated portion of the hearings and meeting. The conference call phone number is provided for LISTENING PURPOSES ONLY, and the live broadcast link is provided for LISTENING AND WATCHING PURPOSES ONLY.

You can submit written comments in advance to info@lonestargcd.org.

Telephone conference call phone number: +1 346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 886 2954 3383# 
You will then be prompted to enter a participation code or press #. Press #. You do not need a participation code.
Live broadcast of the hearings and meeting via the link below or on the meetings tab on the District’s website at https://www.lonestargcd.org/meetings

Live Broadcast Link:https://lonestargcd.new.swagit.com/views/58

To Learn More About the Implications of Subsidence

ReduceFlooding.com has posted several times about subsidence in south Montgomery and North Harris Counties. See:

Those Who Deny History are Doomed to Repeat It: Subsidence in 1974 and 2019

Someone’s Trying to Tilt Lake Houston Toward Your House

Truth is the First Casualty in Water Wars, Too

MoCo Water War Escalates, Putting Millions in Crossfire

Fault Movement and Property Damage Linked to Aquifer Depletion in Montgomery County

One thing is for sure. The next two months will be exciting.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/8/2021

1259 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.