Raindrops keep falling….and falling….and falling on my head. With all of our recent rain and the gates on the dam open as the San Jacinto River Authority releases water downstream, it’s hard to imagine that the topic most on the minds of the Lake Conroe Association (LCA) is the availability of water for Montgomery County. Given so many water issues being discussed, I thought I’d update you on our perspective of where the discussions stand.
Judge Sadler held his “Water Summit” on September 28 with invitees including State Senators Nichols and Williams; State Representatives Creighton and Eissler; County Commissioners Meador, Doyal, and Chance; Conroe Mayor Melder; Woodlands Township Chairperson Blair; the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA); and the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD). SJRA presented data from the recently completed engineering study on historic Lake Conroe data (lake levels, rainfall, evaporation, water releases from the dam, etc) which included many “What If Scenarios” based on utilizing water from LakeConroe in different quantities in the future. Judge Sadler presented his concept of creating two future reservoirs within the County for water collection and use. While all attendees agreed that the topic of water for the County must be addressed, few specific conclusions or action items were developed. Regardless of this, Judge Sadler’s initiative to call this “Water Summit” brought many of the necessary parties together and set the basis for future such meetings. I believe we will shortly see another such “Water Summit” and, with a stronger consensus among the invitees on the best way to address our water needs, a subsequent meeting for the general public of Montgomery County. We’ll keep you posted when this public meeting is called.
You may recall the LCA’s September Question and Answer Survey related to lake issues that was mailed to over 19,000 County residents. With over 2,500 written, signed responses, the survey results were submitted to the attendees of the “Water Summit”. Key responses included:
We would like to acknowledge Senator Nichols for personally responding to all 2,500 respondents with his thoughts on our water future.
We meet regularly with Board Members of the Lake Conroe Community Network to discuss water needs for Montgomery County. This organization has held informative public meetings on the topics of property taxes, annexation, emergency services and water; and we find them to be most helpful in discussing water facts and potential water solutions.
During the past two weeks, we have met individually with Judge Sadler, Senator Nichols, Mayor Melder, and the SJRA. In my meeting with Judge Sadler, I was assured that I will be allowed to attend future “Water Summits” as a representative of the LCA. While calendars didn’t work for a meeting with Representative Creighton, our phone conversation provided insight and we set a meeting date for next week. We are working to set a meeting date with Woodlands Township Chairperson Blair in an effort to better understand the perspectives of Woodlands’ residents as it relates to water use.
What do I feel I can state with some level of certainty? I’d say:
ALTERNATIVES: How could the amount of water to be drawn from Lake Conroe in the future be reduced? “Alternatives” include:
WATER CONSERVATION: What are suggestions for implementing a County-wide program for Water Conservation? Some include:
FURTHER THOUGHTS: Please consider the following:
I’ve ignored so many details yet have written five pages already. If you’ve read this far, I commend your dedication to the topic and patience with me. I’ll leave topics like “How will we pay for this new water treatment plant?” and “What will all of this do to my monthly water bill?” for another day. For now, know that concerned citizens like those Board Members of the Lake Conroe Association and Lake Conroe Communities Network are doing their best to learn about “the water business” and challenge our elected officials to arrive at the best solution for all residents of Montgomery County. As always, we welcome your feedback at www.lakeconroeassociation.com. I’ll communicate further information and the proposed public water summit date when we know more. Until then, enjoy what I hope is some beautiful fall weather.
Mike Bleier, President