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Jim Guidry Commentaries
San Jacinto River Authority Board of Directors
Friday, July 29, 2011
SJRA Approves Proposal for Catahoula Wells with Montgomery County U.D. No. 2
At its board meeting on July 28, 2011, the San Jacinto River Authority authorized the execution of an agreement with Montgomery County U.D. No. 2 to develop a well into the Catahoula Aquifer to serve UD 2 customers in Seven Coves subdivision. The proposed well would be used to offset UD 2’s current consumption of groundwater from the Jasper Aquifer, which is being depleted due to the growth in population and water demand in Montgomery County.
Because UD 2 is a member of the SJRA’s Groundwater Reduction Plan, UD 2 has the option of asking the SJRA to fund the cost of the well. All the members of the GRP benefit from the reduction in pumpage from the Jasper Aquifer.
Jace Houston, Deputy General Manager of Administration for the SJRA explained, “This drives down the overall water cost for all of us and potentially delays or reduces the amount of surface water that is needed from Lake Conroe. It’s a win-win.”
Another benefit is the sharing of risk. Although a handful of local utilities are now drilling wells into the Catahoula, it has never been used as a source of water supply in Montgomery County, so there is very little data on the aquifer’s long-term reliability. By working in partnership with other participants in the SJRA’s GRP, the cost of the wells is shared, the benefit of the groundwater conversion is shared, and any risks are spread to all those who stand to benefit.
In addition to providing an alternative water supply, another important benefit of the
Catahoula well is the collection of important data to make predictions about the aquifer’s longterm dependability. The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District is currently conducting
studies of the Catahoula Aquifer, and the data collected from the UD 2 well will be extremely
important for long-term efforts to maximize this resource.
The agreement with UD 2 follows the approval of a similar agreement in June in which the SJRA Board approved two Catahoula wells in partnership with the City of Willis.
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