Phase 2 of subsidence study in Montgomery County underway

Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, which regulates groundwater usage in Montgomery County, is conducting a subsidence study focused on Montgomery County. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, which regulates groundwater usage in Montgomery County, is conducting a subsidence study focused on Montgomery County. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, which regulates groundwater usage in Montgomery County, is conducting a subsidence study focused on Montgomery County. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, the entity tasked with regulating groundwater in Montgomery County, has approved Phase 2 of a subsidence study, according to a June 15 news release from the LSGCD. Subsidence refers to the gradual sinking of the earth, which can result from excessive groundwater use.

The second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2022, will build on the initial phase by developing a long-term plan for data collection and evaluation to help policymakers understand the effects of groundwater pumping on subsidence in the county, according to the news release. During Phase 1 of the study, consultants compiled a database of past subsidence studies, assessed historical models and prioritized additional work on the issue.

"This study is a necessary step for to us have a holistic understanding of subsidence, help mitigate potential impacts and equip all residents of Montgomery County with the information needed for them to take the necessary steps locally to protect themselves," LSGCD President Harry Hardman said. "It will also allow those not being impacted by subsidence the information necessary to make the right decision for them."

Future phases of the study include site-specific investigations and field work such as core sampling to better understand the aquifers in Montgomery County.

Each stage is designed to help the LSGCD, the county, local areas of the county most susceptible to subsidence, and Groundwater Management Area 14—which consists of several groundwater conservation districts, including LSGCD—develop a better understanding of where subsidence is occurring, why it is occurring and how to address potential impacts, according to the LSGCD mews release.


The LSGCD is pushing back against GMA 14's proposed subsidence desired future condition, or DFC, a long-term goal for the aquifers, which could limit subsidence in the GMA to no more than an average of 1 foot between 2009 and 2080.

LSGCD claims the proposed subsidence metric creates "arbitrary restrictions," which LSGCD cannot accurately measure. On May 25, Hardman asked Montgomery County Commissioners to adopt a resolution opposing GMA 14's proposed DFC. Hardman has been vocal about his opposition to using subsidence data in Montgomery County to make policy decisions when it is not clear how much of the subsidence is a result of pumping from Harris County.

The LSGCD states that the results of this study will help drive subsidence policy for Montgomery County and the region.

However, the subsidence study will likely not be finished by the time a final DFC will need to be adopted in January 2022, according to previous reporting from Community Impact Newspaper. The four other groundwater conservation districts in GMA 14 are all supportive of the proposed DFC statement that includes the subsidence metric.
By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.


MOST RECENT

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Councilmember Julie Davis, second from right, argued for a 20% homestead exemption. (Screenshot via Montgomery City Council livestream)
Montgomery adopts 20% tax break on homestead property taxes

Some tension arose when Council Member Julie Davis said that the city has spent thousands of dollars on “goats and walkie-talkies."

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Residents voiced concerned about the proposed Colliers Pointe development at Conroe's City Council workshop July 21. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Concern over Conroe's proposed Colliers Pointe development continues

Residents raised concerns about safety, flooding and access roads to the community.

A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered to a person's arm
Montgomery County sees July increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County climbed above 1,000 for the first time in two months, just after June recorded the lowest active cases since 2020.

Jacqueline Myers opened her gluten-free restaurant Broth and Brine in December 2020. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Gut health' priority at Conroe gluten-free restaurant, Broth and Brine Dedicated Craft Kitchen

Jacqueline Myers said she spent 20 years studying autism and the relationship between what she calls “gut health” and brain disorders.

The mural will be placed in Heritage Place Park. (Courtesy Conroe Art League)
Conroe seeking muralist for downtown project

The Conroe 360 Class has agreed to use a classmate's sketch of a train as a base design for the mural.

Memorial Hermann has locations throughout the Greater Houston area, including Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. (Courtesy Memorial Hermann)
Memorial Hermann visiting policies change as COVID-19 cases rise

As of July 21, Memorial Hermann has changed its visitor policy in light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Greater Houston area.

Houston unemployment is above state and national levels, while home sales in the region continue to be strong, according to a July 21 economic update from the Greater Houston Partnership. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unemployment, strong housing sales mark 2021 Houston economy, Greater Houston Partnership says

While Houston job recovery lags due to the pandemic, area home sales are strong, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

Conroe ISD provided recommendations for a safer return for the 2021-22 school year. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe ISD sets COVID-19 policies for 2021-22 school year

The "Roadmap to Remaining Open" states policies and provides recommendations for students and faculty to better prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the district.

Home prices continue to increase, according to local real estate data. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
DATA: All Conroe, Montgomery ZIP codes see home sales increase year over year

One ZIP code saw a 78% increase in number of homes sold.