San Jacinto River Authority, SJRA Groundwater Reduction Plan, GRP

January 25, 2010

Jace Houston with San Jacinto River Authority, SJRA spoke to the Conroe-Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce today at noon.  The event took place at the April Sound Country Club over looking Lake Conroe.

He worked for the Harris County Subsidence District before he came to work for the SJRA in Montgomery County.  As Deputy General Manager of the SJRA he handles everything except the actual engineering at the San Jacinto River Authority SJRA. He is an attorney also that handles the PR for the SJRA.

Created in 1937, the SJRA got into the water business in the 1940s to help the war effort (WWII) and bring raw water through canals to industries in the Houston Ship channel area. At that time they began acquiring water rights from the state to plan for the future growth of our area.

Lake Conroe was finished in 1972. Since then the major user has been The Woodlands. Recently the SJRA has had to refocus on the long term water needs of Montgomery County.

The legislature created the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, LSGCD a few years ago.  The purpose is to study and manage the aquifer or groundwater supply in the area.

Currently the SJRA, empowered by the LSGCD, is in charge of lowering groundwater consumption 70% by January 1, 2016.

The Groundwater Reduction Plan, GRP must be turned in this year to the LSGCD. It is required by the LSGCD, the state organization in charge of getting the local water authorities like the SJRA to comply with their 70% mandate.

This is applicable to all Large Volume Gallon Users, LVGUs in Montgomery County.  LVGUs use 10 million gallons a year and above.   That is a subdivision of about 100 homes and larger.

With information that came from experiences in the Houston area, engineers have calculated how to meet the 2016 deadline at the lowest cost to all users. They will have to over convert the largest LVGUs to allow the remainder of the county to continue pumping well water.

Piping the water is the highest expense. The two largest LVGUs are Conroe and the Woodlands.

If we do not convert to surface water in time we could actually have a collapse in the aquifer and some small residential wells could go dry. This could be disastrous to the local economy.

In the last two months the SJRA has put out the sample contract to be signed by each of the 200 plus Montgomery County LVGUs for comment by March 1. Most of them want to see the final contract.

The final contracts need to be signed however by May 1, 2010 and the whole Groundwater Reduction Plan has to be complete by January 1, 2011.

The LVGUs need to kick it into gear!


For more information read the following articles:

Written by: Wayne Stroman CIPS, TRC, President, Stroman Realty, Inc.
Houston Association of REALTORS®, Vice Chair
Your Lake Conroe Area Specialist!
Mail to: POB 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Deliveries to: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Desk: 936-588-7044
Office: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

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