Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District appeals decision of judge who ruled in favor of Conroe in water lawsuit

The lawsuit between the city of Conroe and the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District over groundwater regulations is ongoing despite a Sept. 18 decision by visiting Judge Lamar McCorkle ruling that the district did not have legal authority to force large-volume groundwater users to reduce how much groundwater they use annually.

LSGCD General Manager Kathy Jones said via email that the LSGCD appealed this decision Oct. 3, and the district believes the 9th Court of Appeals will overturn the ruling.

According to court documents from the 284th Judicial District, the legal battle between the city of Conroe and the LSGCD has been going on since the city and seven other utility stakeholders filed a lawsuit against the district in August 2015 over countywide groundwater regulations.

The LSGCD board of directors unanimously adopted a long-term planning mandate in 2006 requiring all large-volume groundwater users—like Conroe—to reduce their groundwater use countywide to 70 percent of their 2009 totals by January 2016, Jones said. She said permittees had 10 years to find alternative water sources and were notified in advance.

The reductions were designed to address falling water levels in water wells and manage local groundwater aquifers more sustainably, Jones said.

Conroe City Attorney Marc Winberry said putting a cap on groundwater pumping was forcing utility providers in Conroe and Montgomery County to buy more surface water—thus increasing utility bills.

“We have long advocated for a reasonable set of rules that would be based on things like [groundwater] well spacing requirements and limiting the maximum volume that individual wells could pump,” Winberry said. “[LSGCD] is not being prohibited from regulating groundwater, but it’s being requested to regulate in a legal fashion.”


Angelica Espinoza's balloon work is used for events, parties and celebrations. (Courtesy A.L. Party Creations)
Balloon business A.L. Party Creations coming to Conroe

A.L. Party Creations will have a balloon bar that offers bouquets for pickup or delivery.

The Woodlands Township board of directors met at the township building Dec. 2. (Screenshot via The Woodlands Township)
COVID-19 patients in more than 15% of Montgomery County hospital beds; free testing seeing demand in The Woodlands

The percentage of COVID-19 patients occupying hospital beds in Montgomery County was more than 15% in early December.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The East Montgomery County Industrial Park off Gene Campbell Road will welcome the Lowe's Distribution Center in July. (Courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)
Lowe's to bring 200 jobs to Montgomery County and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Harris County has launched a tool to allow homeowners to identify appraisal activity in their neighborhood. (Courtesy Pexels)
Harris County Appraisal District launches new 'Appraiser Field Operations Map' tool

Harris County has launched a tool to allow homeowners to identify appraisal activity in their neighborhood.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

The gym is slated to open in January. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Women-only strength, endurance training gym coming to Montgomery

"I understand being depressed, lonely [and] hating what you see in the mirror, but exercise can help immensely," owner and trainer Kelly Diller said.

Community Impact Newspaper uses data from the Montgomery County Public Health District for weekly case counts. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County rise 34% over Thanksgiving week from Nov. 23-30

Active cases increased from 2,513 to 3,365; recoveries grew from 10,655 to 11,019; and the death toll has remained the same at 169.

The Montgomery County commissioners discussed reimbursement payments to various entities for coronavirus expenditures. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Commissioners defer CARES Act reimbursements a week

The requested amounts to the counties are for expenses incurred due to the coronavirus.

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.