Guest writer Jon Bouche: Solving water pricing and subsidence in The Woodlands

Jon Bouche, Board of Directors of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District.

Jon Bouche, Guest Writer, The Golden Hammer

While the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) and their cronies continue the parade of propaganda and scare tactics, I have remained focused on trying to figure out a solution for the residents of the Woodlands regarding their water supply.  Based on all of the information I have seen, here is what I am thinking makes the most sense.
Let’s start with a few facts.
– The Woodlands pumps about 11,000 acre/feet of water which is just under 18% of the total groundwater pumped in Montgomery County.
– The SJRA owns all 38 wells in the Woodlands as well as the pipeline to deliver surface water to the Woodlands residents.
– Currently, the Woodlands residents receive a blend of surface water and groundwater.
– The Woodlands residents pay $2.73 per 1000 gallons of groundwater.
– The Woodlands residents pay $3.15 per 1000 gallons of surface water.
Since we do have some subsidence in the Woodlands and there is also a large fault line running through the Woodlands which could be experiencing some activity due to groundwater pumping, I would make the following suggestions.
1. Petition the SJRA to reduce the surface water price so that it is equal to the groundwater production price.
2. Convert the Woodlands residents to 100% surface water.
This will…..
1. Reduce the total groundwater pumping in Montgomery County by about 18%.
2. Make it to where the Woodlands residents will not experience a water rate increase or have to cut back on their water usage.
3. Generate more revenue for the SJRA because they will be selling more surface water.
4. Provide us with the opportunity to discover whether subsidence is being caused by Montgomery County groundwater withdrawals or if it is being caused by Harris County’s wells just to the south which pump about 5 times what Montgomery County wells are pumping.
5. Give us better data for future planning.
If the SJRA refuses to level out the rates even though they will be generating more revenue, that will be a pretty good indicator of how they feel about addressing subsidence in the Woodlands.
If SJRA will not cooperate, then another option would be for the Woodlands Township Board to have a referendum to see if the residents want to pay SJRA’s higher price to convert to surface water just to see if it helps with subsidence.
The thoughts expressed on this page are my own opinions and they are not to be construed to be a representation of the policies or views of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District.  My posts are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the State of Texas.
Jon Bouche is the elected representative of Commissioners Precinct 3, south Montgomery County, on the Board of Directors of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District.

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