Montgomery County’s groundwater problem didn’t develop overnight, and neither did the proposed solutions. Many different individuals and organizations have been involved in studying the problem and developing solutions from the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (whose job is to study and manage the county’s underground aquifers) to the 200-plus individual water utilities who must each find a solution to reduce their groundwater usage. The SJRA developed its joint Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) to be a regional solution that would be open to any and all utilities in the county.
Groundwater Reduction Plan
The Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) is SJRA’s solution to Montgomery County’s groundwater problem. Rapid population growth and the resulting increase in water demand has overwhelmed the county’s groundwater supply. In order to meet the requirements for groundwater reduction mandated by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD), the SJRA has taken on the task of implementing the most cost-effective and reliable solution for decreasing groundwater withdrawals. Most importantly, participation in the SJRA’s GRP was offered as a solution to all large water suppliers in the county, and over 130 different water utilities joined the plan, representing 80 percent of the water use in Montgomery County. With this commitment, the GRP truly became a countywide, collaborative solution to the groundwater problem.
As of January 1, 2016, which is the LSGCD’s mandated deadline for reducing groundwater withdrawals, the GRP will allow Montgomery County to reduce its dependence on groundwater by developing reliable, long-term alternative water supplies for the future. This includes drawing upon a sustainable resource – surface water from Lake Conroe – to create a more balanced approach to supplying the water needs of the entire county. The GRP will also develop a diverse portfolio of other water supply strategies, including reuse of treated wastewater effluent, water conservation and untapped groundwater from the Catahoula Aquifer. The SJRA is not only creating lasting water solutions for future generations, but it is also ensuring that Montgomery County’s economic engine has a plentiful supply of water to fuel its continued growth.