Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) Approved for Gulf Coast Aquifer System – Win for Water Utilities, Landowners, Water Users
On Wednesday, January 5, Groundwater Management Area 14 (GMA-14) approved the proposed desired future conditions (DFCs) for the Gulf Coast Aquifer System, which provides groundwater to the Greater Houston area.
A significant addition in the DFCs is an optional subsidence metric.
Adding language for measuring subsidence was a concern specifically for Montgomery County residents during the proposal phase of the new DFCs. Residents of The Woodlands alleged that they were experiencing damage from subsidence, the gradual sinking of land due to water pumpage, and asked that measuring subsidence be a requirement for well owners.
Lonestar Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD), who regulates groundwater resources in Montgomery County, countered that measuring subsidence is difficult to do and should not be a requirement, citing sparse monitoring equipment, GPS capabilities, and feasibility concerns among other reasons.
The new groundwater regulations will remain in effect for five years and give all parties the opportunity to continue to learn more about subsidence and how regulations may affect our private property rights.
“I am delighted to hear the news that the DFCs have been approved and feel they benefit all parties involved, from water utility companies to landowners and Texans who rely on the Gulf Coast Aquifer System for their water needs,” says Quadvest CEO Simon Sequeira. “Quadvest has worked tirelessly for years to protect all water users in Montgomery County, not just its own customers, against arbitrary regulations that could increase the cost of water. Subsidence is real, but more information and data are needed before regulation is made around it.”
“Going forward, Quadvest will remain steadfastly committed to the equitable treatment of all landowners regarding groundwater regulation and will continue to fight against attempts of political interference which ultimately costs end users more money.”