Lone Star GCD is an urban water regulatory agency. We have – like many of you -- faced some extraordinary challenges over the past few years…not the least of which was coping with a record-shattering drought. In 2000, Montgomery County’s population was roughly 293,000. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated our population to be 448,000 ‐‐ that’s a staggering 52% growth rate in less than a decade.
Lone Star GCD was created by the 77th legislature in 2001 to protect and manage the groundwater resources of Montgomery County. It is our responsibility to maintain a balance between protecting the rights of private landowners and our responsibility to protect groundwater. We focus on preventing waste, collecting data, educating the public about water conservation and preventing irreparable harm to the aquifer.
To date, virtually the entire water supply in Montgomery County originates as groundwater from the Gulf Coast Aquifer System. which consists of 3 productive sands underlying Montgomery County. The general flow of water in the aquifer is from the northwest to the southeast towards the Gulf of Mexico. The important point here is that current research and information indicate that the long term sustainable recharge of the aquifer in Montgomery County is about 64,000 acre-ft a year.
In 2009, the permitted demand in the county was 87,000 acre feet per year, exceeding the sustainable recharge rate by 50%. By 2040 the total water demand is expected to be 154,000 acre feet. It is becoming increasingly apparent that -- with a long term sustainable recharge of the aquifer is about 64,000 acre-ft. a year – something has to give. By 2040, when the total water demand is expected to be 154,000 acre feet – we will be exceeding the sustainable recharge rate of the aquifer by almost 90,000 acre‐feet per year!
Based on the potential impact to the aquifer systems, the LSGCD considered… How much regulation of groundwater is necessary? Who should the regulated community be? When should these regulations be put into effect?
The Complication? Almost no public awareness of the problem or the need for a solution!
In 2006, the District formally adopted Phase I of its District Regulatory Plan (DRP) establishing a benchmark for the reduction of groundwater production by requiring total groundwater production to be reduced to 64,000 acre-feet or less annually by January 1, 2015.
In February 2008, the District adopted Phase II (A) of the DRP to ensure that water producers and users in the District were making incremental progress toward compliance with the 2015 groundwater reduction requirement. Phase II(A) required certain Large Volume Groundwater Users, either individually or jointly with other LVGUs, to submit a Water Resources Assessment Plan to the District
Phase II (A) also defined a LVGU to be any non-exempt and non-agricultural groundwater producer producing or authorized to produce 10 million gallons or more of groundwater annually on or after January 1, 2008. (92% of total permitted production in Montgomery County).
In its continuing conversion effort, The District adopted Phase II(B) of the District Regulatory Plan on November 10, 2009, containing the District’s primary regulatory requirements for achieving sustainability of the Gulf Coast Aquifer by reducing groundwater dependency within Montgomery County. The District determined that the year of initial groundwater reduction and conversion should be changed from calendar year 2015 to 2016, because of the delay in the originally anticipated time frame for adoption of these actual regulatory requirements and the need for LVGU to have a corresponding increment of tine to implement them. Phase II(B) requires each Large Volume Groundwater User (LVGU) in the District to reduce its groundwater production by 2016 to a volume that does not exceed 70 percent of its Total Qualifying Demand.
An LVGU’s Total Qualifying Demand is the volume of groundwater that it was authorized under the terms of a District-issued permit to produce in calendar year 2009. Year 2016 Water demand that is in excess of 70 percent of an LVGU’s Total Qualifying Demand must be met using conservation to curb the demand, an Alternative Water Source , or a combination of both approaches.
Each LVGU must prepare, and submit to the District, a Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) by no later than April 1, 2011. Two or more LVGUs may enter into contractual agreements to cooperate under the framework of a single as a Joint GRP.
An Alternative Water Source includes any water other than water produced from the Gulf Coast Aquifer within Montgomery County or any county that adjoins Montgomery County.
Not only is the District recommending that groundwater users convert to alternative supplies of water, but we are emphasizing ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle current water usage.
Here we illustrate a cross section view of the Catahoula formation. While all one formation, early water quality test results indicate the fresher water being concentrated in the northern part of the county while the more salty/brackish unusable water is located in South Montgomery County. CATAHOULA AQUIFER UPDATE: Having drilled successful test wells (some of which are already operational) into the Catahoula Aquifer, concerns existed over whether removal of water from the Catahoula Aquifer could diminish water levels in the Jasper Aquifer. In a model study presented to the Lone Star Conservation District by independent hydrologists from LBG_Guyton Associates, in was concluded that use of the Catahoula Aquifer would have little effect on the Jasper Aquifer.
Introduction to Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, Paul Nelson, Assistant General Manager, Lone Star GCD
WATER ISSUES INMONTGOMERY COUNTY
Montgomery County:• one of the top 25 fastest growing counties in U.S.• 5th fastest growing county in Texas• water supply almost exclusively groundwater• experienced 52% growth over the past decade• projected to have a population of 1M people by 2040
Who is the LSGCD?• Created in 2001 by the 77th Legislature to protect and manage the groundwater resources of Montgomery County• Creation confirmed by popular vote on Nov 6, 2001 with 73.85 % approval• Boundaries include a total area of just over 1,000 square miles• Hybrid Appointed / Elected Board• No taxing authority; funded by user fees
The long term sustainable recharge of the aquiferis about 64,000 acre-ft a year. Montgomery County
11/01/122011 water level survey – Evangeline (5 yr) 5
11/01/122011 water level survey – Jasper (10 yr) 6
Baseline Run: Drawdown for Evangeline: 2000 to 2050 Dry Cells
Baseline Run: Drawdown for Jasper: 2000 to 2050
Estimated GW in Montgomery 2040 Demand estimatedCounty (TWDB) 64,000 a-f/year at 154,000 a-f/year Will exceed the sustainable recharge rate of the aquifer by almost 90,000 a-f/year!
How much can be pumped?Who should be regulated?When should regulationsbe put into effect?
District Rules• Developed 2001 and 2002• Tailored to profile of our user groups• 77% PWS/Commercial; 13% golf course; 7% industrial; 3% ag irrigation• Set up Historic Use Permit claims process• Contemplated sustainability and pro-rata reductions if necessary
The Problem?We’re using too much groundwater and our aquifers are being depleted. The Challenge? Reduce groundwater pumpage to 70% of 2009 levels by 2016!
As of December 2009, approximately 95,000 acre-feet per year,authorized for production from Gulf Coast aquifer. • 87,000 acre-feet per year through permits issued by the District. • About 7,700 acre-feet of groundwater from exempted sources This exceeds the currently recognized sustainable yield of the GulfCoast aquifer by 31,000 acre-feet.
DRP – Phase 1In 2006, Phase I - District Regulatory Plan(DRP) - benchmark for reduction by requiringtotal groundwater production to be reducedto 64,000 acre-feet or less annually byJanuary 1, 2015.
DRP - Phase II (A)In February 2008, the District adopted Phase II (A)of the DRP to ensure that water producers andusers in the District were making incrementalprogress toward compliance with the 2015groundwater reduction requirement. Phase II (A): • defined a Large Volume Groundwater Users (LVGU) to be any non-exempt and non-agricultural groundwater producer producing or authorized to produce 10 million gallons (92% of total permitted production in Montgomery County). • and it required LVGUs to submit a Water Resources Assessment Plan to the District.
Large Volume Groundwater Users =• Single well/combination of wells that pump more than 10 million gallons/year• NOT single family residences• NOT agricultural users
DRP - Phase II (B)In its continuing conversion effort, the District adopted Phase II(B)of the District Regulatory Plan on November 10, 2009, containingthe District’s primary regulatory requirements for achievingsustainability of the Gulf Coast Aquifer by reducing groundwaterdependency within Montgomery County.Phase II(B) requires each LVGU in the District to reduce itsgroundwater production by 2016 to a volume that does not exceed70 percent of its Total Qualifying Demand.
Total Qualifying Demand• Total Qualifying Demand (TQD) is the volume of groundwater that itwas authorized under the terms of a District-issued permit to producein calendar year 2009.• By 2016 – Groundwater production must be reduced by 30 percentof TQD (i.e. 30 percent of an LVGU’s Total Qualifying Demand must bemet using conservation, an Alternative Water Source, or acombination of both approaches to curb the demand).
Groundwater Reduction PlansA Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) represents the specific plan that eachLVGU will follow in order to meet it’s Initial Conversion Obligation. These planswere due to the District by April 1, 2011.There are two types of plans:•Single-GRP – a GRP submitted by an LVGU that intends to meet its InitialConversion Obligation solely on its own.•Joint-GRP – a GRP submitted by one or more LVGUs that have contractuallyagreed to abide by its terms, that includes all requisite information for eachparticipating LVGU that would otherwise be required of the LVGU if it wassubmitting an individual GRP, and that allows the participating LVGU’s toachieve the Initial Conversion Obligation as a group rather than as individuals.
One Joint-GRP represents 70% ofGroundwater – San Jacinto River AuthorityAll Joint-GRP’s combined total 90-pluspercent of Montgomery County water
Alternative Water SourceAn Alternative Water Source includes anywater other than water produced from theGulf Coast Aquifer within MontgomeryCounty or any county that adjoinsMontgomery County.
11/01/12 2011 water level survey The Catahoula Aquifer Formation:• North Montgomery County = fresh water• South Montgomery County = salty/brackish/unusable water ALL ONE FORMATION 23
Our region and economic future dependsupon our ability to solve these waterresource challenges.THANK YOU FOR COMING!!