The North Harris County Regional Water Authority approved a reduction of water rates during a Jan. 9 regular board meeting for the first time in the water authority's history.

The NHCRWA voted to reduce its surface water rates by $0.50, changing the rates from $5.05 to $4.55 per 1,000 gallons. The board also voted to reduce the groundwater pumpage fees from $4.60 to $4.10 per 1,000 gallons.

The price reduction will go into effect Feb. 1, according to the NHCRWA website.

This vote occurs just months after the election of the new board members, including board President Mark Ramsey. According to previous Community Impact reporting, Ramsey’s campaign advocated for lowering water prices.

“I am grateful that in just over a month of hard work since being sworn in, the directors worked with the staff and consultants to identify and implement an immediate savings to ratepayers while working on longer-term solutions to better utilize abundant water resources available to North Harris County residents,” Ramsey said in a statement.

Ramsey replaces Al Rendl, who had been board president since the creation of the NHCRWA 22 years ago. In an October Q&A with Community Impact, Rendl said controlling costs and financial stability were top priorities for the NHCRWA.

"NHCRWA’s biggest challenge is to comply with the state mandate while keeping the price of water affordable. The surface water conversion is not optional but mandated. The costs for the projects are skyrocketing, but still better than paying $9.80/1,000 gallons to the Subsidence District. Although the NHCRWA fees have increased over the years to keep up with the mounting project costs, we have kept them as low as possible for as long as possible," Rendl told Community Impact.