Letter to the Editor: Drain the Stinking SJRA Swamp

Dear Editor:

This is in response to letters to the Editor and the ongoing Public Relations (PR) campaign by the SJRA and LSGWD. It’s sad that they continue to publish misinformation and misleading facts to support their bloated bureaucracies. They have gotten a bit smarter and are using surrogates to help spread their propaganda. Unfortunately for them, it’s obvious who’s promoting the PR.

The positive note is that the stepped up PR campaign must be in response to the recent legislation passed requiring the LSGWDC board of directors. This legislation requires the Board Members to be elected so that the citizens of Montgomery County have a say on how our water is managed. I appreciate the leadership by Senator Brandon Creighton and Representative Will Metcalf in getting this legislation passed. It’s a good, if modest, start on reforming the out of control and self-serving SJRA and LSGWD. I had hoped that the SJRA would recognize the “writing on the wall” and begin to make self-improvements. It is clear that this isn’t going to happen as in their usual arrogant and uncaring manner they announced a rate increase to their “fee” for the coming year!

One recent editorial in the Courier accused those resisting the unjustifiable actions of the SJRA and LSGWD of hiring consultants who provided only the side of the story that discredited the SJRA and LSGWD. This struck me as being very ironic as it certainly appears that this is exactly what the SJRA and LSGWCD have been doing for years, i.e. hiring consultants to support their ongoing growth and power!

Another editorial compared the LSGWD to a bank where our water was safeguarded and protected.  I really don’t want my money or water in a bank where the bank claims the money is their property, charges exorbitant fees for “managing” my money/water, spends it for the benefit or others without my authorization, rations it out as they see fit and is so poorly managed.

Yet another editorial tied the depletion of the aquifers to their not being capable of flow to the surface without pumping and cited flowing artesian springs as an example. The fact is that most large, shallow reservoirs cannot flow to the surface without assistance (pumping). The pressure in an unproduced reservoir in normal conditions is the same as the pressure exerted by a column of water extending to the surface. How many water wells have you seen that didn’t require pumps? In the past, the answer was a bucket and a winch to lift the water to the surface after it accumulated in the bottom of the well. Today electrical pumps are the common solution. Flowing artesian springs are not “normally pressured” reservoirs and aren’t relative to the analysis of the aquifers we rely on for our water. As Mr. Chance did in his editorial early this year, the most recent contributor provided far too little data to understand the reservoirs that are being produced. Just more misleading and fake information.

My thanks to ex-Mayor Melder for stepping up to accept the nomination to board of directors of the LSGWD and to the County Court for his selection. I especially appreciate his editorial earlier this week demonstrating his independence of the other board members and senior management.

The efforts by the Conroe City Council are also greatly appreciated in resisting the ongoing excessive actions and taxation (disguised as “fees”) by the SJRA.

Just as the LSGCD has failed to achieve its own goal of “providing affordable, alternative water sources, the SJRA has failed to accomplish its mission “to develop, conserve, and protect the water resources of the San Jacinto River basin”. It is time for Senator Brandon Creighton and Representative Will Metcalf to commit to propose legislation to have the SJRA Board of Directors elected rather than being appointed positions. They shouldn’t put off the elections an extra year as was done with the LSGWD (elections delayed until 2018). This gives the incumbents far too much time for mischief and to cause additional hardship on the citizens of Montgomery County.

We need to press for removal of the current SJRA Board of Directors and senior management. It will be a tough fight and require a real effort as the SJRA seems to be better politically connected and influential than the LSGWD. It’s time to drain that stinking SJRA swamp, let’s get started. Contact your state Senator and Representative today.

Gary Blackburn

Conroe, Texas

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