The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD) was created by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001, with the purpose of preserving, conserving, and protecting Montgomery County’s groundwater supplies. Its creation was confirmed by local voters, with nearly 75% approval by those casting ballots in the November elections that year.
There are nearly 100 groundwater districts throughout Texas, with the first established in 1949. Overseen locally by a board of directors, with specific but limited oversight responsibilities from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the State Auditor’s Office (SAO), districts develop rules and management plans that are tailored to their area’s groundwater needs.
Not all groundwater districts are structured the same. The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District is not a taxing entity. The voters of Montgomery County were given the choice between an ad valorem tax or the establishment of well production fees, and they chose the latter.
Because Montgomery County is mostly residential, the bulk of these fees are paid by the water utilities and private water providers and passed on to their consumers. The cost to the average homeowner in Montgomery County is just a few dollars per year, averaging less than one-fifth of the cost of tax-supported groundwater conservation districts across the state!
2001 – LSGCD was created by the 77th Texas Legislature, with a 73.85% voter-approval rate in a confirmation election.
2003 – After studying available scientific evidence, LSGCD discovered that no more than 64,000 acre-feet (21 billion gallons) should be pumped each year from the Gulf Coast Aquifers in Montgomery County. Average annual use exceeds 25 billion gallons.
2009 – Large-volume users were told to file Groundwater Reduction Plans (GRP) to show they will reduce their 2009 total qualifying demand by 30 percent (plans were due April 2011).
2010 – January 1, 2016, deadline was set for large-volume users to reduce groundwater use.
2016 – Groundwater reduction plans begin implementation. Large-volume users must reduce pumping groundwater to 70 percent of their 2009 total qualifying demand.