Guest Reporter John Hill Wertz: Undressing the unholy water alliance between SJRA, GMA 14, and TWDB

John Hill Wertz is the cool looking dude in the back row center with a beige shirt. He and his friends are standing in front of Jerusalem a few weeks ago.

John Hill Wertz, Special Investigative Report to The Golden Hammer

Conroe, June 10 – It’s time to restore the holy water! It’s time to end the unholy water alliance between the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and GMA 14, the regional water regulator. They seek to control private property rights and our water, while the recently-elected Board members of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District are fighting them every step of the way.

San Jacinto River Authority seeks to control water production from groundwater, so that it will have less competition. It’s important to look at a comparison

Everyone needs fresh water for drinking water. Montgomery County has plenty of it. In fact, a 2012 Capstone Study at the Bush School of Government revealed that Montgomery County’s water supply will last at least two hundred years into the future and then some.

Unlike our neighbors to the south, such as Harris County and Galveston County closer to the Gulf Coast, Montgomery County has suffered little to no subsidence other than a small amount in the southeast corner where the sedimentary layers are part of the Gulf Coast lithology and exhibit normal subsidence due to sedimentation and diagenesis.

Despite the reality of unlimited groundwater, SJRA with help from TWDB and GMA 14, has tried to profit from a supposed “crisis.” The previously unelected Board of Directors of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD), which included SJRA’s General Manager and several water utility entities in long-term contracts with SJRA, went along with the “crisis” and kicked private property rights to the curb.

With misleading information, SJRA and the old LSGCD Board used fear and conspired to foist a half a billion dollar pipeline on taxpayers to bring extra “clean water” to south Montgomery County, while SJRA profited immensely from the scheme.

Due to groundwater providers’ and grassroots conservatives’ efforts, the Texas Legislature got wind of the scheme and changed LSGCD from an appointed to an elected Board. Voters on November 6, 2018, elected seven (7) conservatives to clean up the mess, legal and otherwise.

Shortly thereafter, a Texas District Court rightly found that the old SJRA-controlled LSGCD Board (and whoever was involved in the scheme) overstepped their bounds by intruding on property rights of water producers by restricting the water production to their customers through bogus regulations. LSGCD created an artificial water shortage, so that SJRA could conveniently step in as the “white knight” and save the day to avert the fictional “crisis.”

This chart from Quadvest Utility Company shows the economic threat of groundwater water producers to SJRA and the Municipal Utility Districts under SJRA control.

Source: Quadvest Utility Company. The Mostyn Manor prices are groundwater costs from Quadvest as opposed to other communities which suffer from surface water costs.

The chart shows the massive difference in cost between much less expensive groundwater and the far more expensive surface water. Mostyn Manor’s total cost of service for water is about 20% of other communities in its vicinity.

SJRA and everyone else who benefitted from the exposed scheme are now carping about what a bad job the newly elected LSGCD board is doing, because the new board is trying to clean up the legal mess created by the old board which SJRA had controlled.

Because SJRA and the old LSGCD Board manipulated us all, water users are now paying mightily for the $500 million bond, which SJRA, TWDB, and GMA 14 foisted on us, the unsuspecting, trusting public.

We should go completely to much less expensive groundwater, shut off surface water completely, and stop paying for SJRA’s outrageous pipeline. SJRA’s bondholders should eat SJRA’s debt. We’ll reduce our water bills to less than half of what they are now!

John Hill Wertz is a retired petroleum industry executive. He currently serves as the elected Treasurer of the Montgomery County Republican Party, an elected Precinct Chairman in The Woodlands, and Vetting Committee Chairman for the Montgomery County Tea Party. This newspaper dedicates our weekly calendar to his hard work.




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