Opposition to the SJRA Water Treatment Plan Float Around Montgomery County

This is not about the lake level alone, as it has always been in jeopardy due to the City of Houston’s water rights. The primary concern is that the “NON ELECTED” boards of the SJRA and the LSGWD herded the citizenry of Montgomery County into making long term decisions with little knowledge of the alternatives. Prior to the LSGWD compliance deadline to show a reduction of 30% in ground water withdrawal, there was an air of complacency among most of our elected officials at the time that “something” would turn up to save the day. Through a costly and highly successful advertising campaign, the SJRA was able to sell a lot of our decision makers on the concept the SJRA was the only entity that would/could/should solve the problem. It was only during the last few weeks of the imposed LSGWD deadline that the estimated cost (that has now increased) of this solution was made known. The ultimatum by the SJRA to sign up or be penalized some time before the LSGWD deadline was skillfully timed.

The Woodlands never had a choice in this matter as the SJRA controls its water supply and is therefore captive. The City of Conroe was the other “project cornerstone” and its Council voted to join the SJRA GRP, although the Mayor was attempting to gain a time extension to study alternatives and to renegotiate certain contract provisions which was accomplished to some degree.

Which brings us to current conditions?

1. Conroe City Council is now composed of members who were not in office at the time of the SJRA contract. These new councilmen may recognize viable alternatives to the SJRA plan and wish to reconsider/renegotiate the SJRA contract
2. We are in a horrendous drought and long range forecasts do not offer much relief.
3. There are several possible alternatives to the SJRA plan. The Catahoula wells are not the only alternative.
4. The suspected covert actions of the SJRA at the TCEQ and LSGWD should be opposed by our County leadership. Board members should be elected – not appointed. Fiscal affairs of the LSGWB should be subject to the County’s oversight, lest they become another Hospital Board.
5. One state senator should not be allowed to recommend appointments to the SJRA board which is tantamount to the Governor’s approv.

Thanks for reading – just had to get some of this off my chest.

Jack Curtsinger, PE

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