Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 9:44 pm
The Lake Conroe Communities Network is in the process of garnering signatures for a petition urging the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District to suspend impending groundwater regulations that would go into effect in 2016.
The petition claims the regulations will cause a water deficit of 100,000 acre-feet per year by 2035 when factoring in Montgomery County population growth projections. They want the district to take time to study the viability and sustainability of using alternative methods of accessing water, including taking it from Lake Conroe.
The petition also calls upon the district to initiate other water conservation tactics instead of only cutting back on aquifer use. LCCN also wants LSGCD to distinguish the four aquifers under Montgomery County as such and not as one Gulf Coast Aquifer as LCCN claims.
“This is unprecedented as far as we’re concerned, to influence Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District through a petition,” LCCN President Scott Sustman said.
The network held a series of forums in Lake Conroe communities on April 27 and 28 introducing the petition and gaining support and signees.
“The petition deals with the economic viability, practicality and sustainability of alternative water sources,” Sustman said. “That’s actually right in the charter Lone Star Water Conservation District has, and before they constrict water usage from a particular source, they need to make sure that the alternative source is economically viable, ethical and sustainable.
“We feel there’s some question about that when they’re pointing to Lake Conroe potentially as an alternative water source because there’s a finite amount of water in Lake Conroe, and quite frankly, there’s more water in the aquifers than there is in Lake Conroe.”
Kathy Turner Jones, general manager for LSGCD, said the district has no intentions of delaying the implementation of the regulations on Jan. 1, 2016.
Jones said the district is performing studies to determine the impact of the 2016 regulations as well as the additional availability of groundwater.
“The current plan has adequate options for anticipated growth through 2070 and it will be under revision starting next year to incorporate revised population estimates,” Jones said. “Montgomery County will need to be able to draw upon a variety of diversified sources of raw water for future public needs and economic development. If additional groundwater is determined to be available it will be incorporated in the next planning round as a viable future supply.”
Jones also said the study the district is undertaking distinguishes the aquifers as separate strata and not as one “Gulf Coast Aquifer,” as does the Houston Area Groundwater Model.
LSGCD partakes in groundwater conservation education, Jones said, and it has fulfilled its statutorily mandated duties in doing so.
“The district has been active in promoting conservation for all entities within the county,” Jones said. “The district’s offices has (sic) many examples of conservation measures for outdoor water and rainwater harvesting as well as native plant landscaping for water savings. It has also assisted in the establishment of the Gulf Coast/Montgomery County Water Efficiency Network consisting of water professionals from around the region that meet regularly to share industry information and discuss conservation issues.”
The petition currently has over 400 signatures
For more information about the petition, visit www.lakeconroecn.com.
Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2015 9:39 pm
The Lake Conroe Communities Network is hoping for a good turnout at their “Save the Lake” town halls on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
The informational meetings will be about the LCCN’s argument against increasing Lake Conroe’s contribution to the Montgomery County water supply, as the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District intends to do starting Jan.1.
“LCCN has done a lot of research relative to the things that LSGCD wants to have transpire Jan. 1 regarding reduction of pumpage,” LCCN President Scott Sustman said. “We’re going to present information and analysis by some hydrologists that have not been involved in the process questioning some of Lone Star’s beliefs that the (main Montgomery County) aquifer is in distress.”
Sustman said they aren’t butting heads with the LSGCD, but that more information needs to be gathered before they make any decision regarding Lake Conroe.
“We need to take a little more time, do more research and gathering more facts,” he said. “Lone Star is going that to an extent with a project that’s going on but that won’t be done for a few years.”
The town hall meetings will be one hour including a 40-minute presentation by one of two experts that agree with LCCN’s position in the issue.
Bob Harden is a professional hydrologist and the president of R.W. Harden Associates. He will speak at the April Sound Country Club on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday at Walden Yacht Club.
Michael Thornhill is the president of Thornhill Group, as well as a professional geologist and hydrogeologist. He will speak at the Northshore Church in Bentwater on Tuesday and the Seven Coves Clubhouse on Wednesday.
After the presentation, attendees will also have a chance to sign a petition asking LSGCD to postpone any regulation changes.
Both presentations begin at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For more information go to www.LakeConroeCN.com/ #Save_The_Lake.
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:58 pm
LAKE CONROE – The San Jacinto River Authority will conduct a feasibility study to determine where it will place its Catahoula water well.
While the SJRA has shown interest in positioning the well near Entergy’s Lewis Creek power station, the utility company might connect two to three municipal utility districts in the area, SJRA General Manager Jace Houston said at Thursday’s SJRA board meeting.
The Lake Creek Reservoir is located on Lake Conroe just north of FM 1097.
“We’ll look at the cost of connecting two or three MUDs and see how financially feasible they can be,” Houston said.
Catahoula wells being drilled are classified as providing an alternative water source from the Evangeline and Jasper aquifers for the water suppliers around Southeast Texas.
The study is expected is take six to nine months, Houston said.
Drought contingency plan:
The SJRA has until May 1 to submit its revised Drought Contingency and Water Conservation plans to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The SJRA board approved a four-step contingency plan.
Stage 1: A 5 percent reduction in water use is activated when the lake level drops to 199 feet at sea level.
Stage 2: Also known as moderate drought conditions, it brings a 5 percent reduction in the winter months of October through March. There is at least a 10 percent reduction in the summer when the Lake Conroe level drops below 197 msl.
Stage 3: A 10 percent reduction in winter and 20 percent reduction in summer months. Mean sea level falls below 194 msl.
Stage 4: A reduction of 15 percent in the winter and 30 percent during the summer months are required when water depth falls below 190.
Water conservation includes the plans already in use by the residents around Lake Conroe.