Magnolia City Council passes ordinance to oppose proposed subsidence requirement

Magnolia City Council members unanimously opposed a proposed subsidence requirement from Groundwater Management District 14 during a July 13 meeting. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
Magnolia City Council members unanimously opposed a proposed subsidence requirement from Groundwater Management District 14 during a July 13 meeting. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)

Magnolia City Council members unanimously opposed a proposed subsidence requirement from Groundwater Management District 14 during a July 13 meeting. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)

Magnolia City Council unanimously passed an ordinance July 13 opposing a proposed goal by Groundwater Management Area 14 that would include a subsidence requirement. Mayor Pro Tem Richard Carby was not present.

In April, GMA 14 proposed future goals for the region's groundwater usage, known as desired future conditions, or DFCs. It included a metric that would restrict those within GMA 14 to no more than one additional foot of average subsidence between 2009 and 2080, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Subsidence is the gradual sinking of the earth as a result of excessive groundwater use.

“The fact that [GMA 14 is trying] to support this with science, yet they believe they can pull as much water out of the same aquifer flowing under us and it not be part of the problem, it’s ludicrous,” Mayor Todd Kana said.

The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, which regulates groundwater in Montgomery County, is advocating for more research into subsidence before making a decision.

“It is not measurable, it is not feasible, and it's not reasonable,” LSGCD President Harry Hardman said in a presentation to Conroe City Council on June 23.

LSGCD is conducting its own study into understanding pumping and its effect on subsidence in Montgomery County. Phase 2 of the study began in June, but the study is not expected to be complete until after a final DFC statement will need to be approved in January.

“Moving ahead with this policy before the research is complete is irresponsible to taxpayers,” Hardman said in June. “We should be making policy based on research, not the other way around.”

Magnolia City Attorney Leonard Schneider claimed GMA 14, the San Jacinto River Authority and the city of Houston are working together to pump as much water as they want from Montgomery County while limiting the county’s use.

“I’m kind of pissed off about this,” Schneider said.

Schneider said Magnolia is the sixth city in the county to pass a resolution opposing the proposed DFC.

By Chandler France

Reporter, Tomball/Magnolia

Chandler joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, where he was the executive editor of Annenberg Media. He previously interned with the company in Gilbert, AZ and with the Beacon Project, an investigative reporting team in Los Angeles. Chandler is originally from Laguna Hills, CA.


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