Regional Planning Group Approves Future Goals to Protect Groundwater

GMA 14 Approves 2021 Desired Future Conditions

Style Magazine Newswire | 1/5/2022, 12:33 p.m.

The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD) announced today that the greater Groundwater Management Area 14 (GMA 14) has approved proposed desired future conditions (DFCs), setting groundwater management goals through 2080. The approved DFCs balance the desire to preserve Montgomery County's groundwater supply for future generations and protect property rights.

The approval of these DFCs is a significant milestone in the process of establishing long-term groundwater management plans. There were many public meetings to gather input from stakeholders and citizens about what they wanted their future water availability to look like.

"We are appreciative of our fellow GMA 14 members for collaborating on behalf of their communities to develop DFCs utilizing the best science available. These DFCs represent the regional goals for the shared aquifers while also addressing the need for local control of water policy," said LSGCD Board President Harry Hardman. "We are committed to continuing our subsidence research and refining our groundwater policy as needed to protect the residents of Montgomery County."

The adopted DFCs read as follows:

“In each county in GMA 14, no less than 70 percent median available drawdown remaining in 2080 or no more than an average of 1.0 additional foot of subsidence between 2009 and 2080.”

In October, GMA 14 voted to slightly alter the DFC wording to substitute the word “and” with “or” as it appears in the final version. This change allows local Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs) to implement policies that best provide for their community and residents' needs.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWBD) requires the state’s sixteen GMAs to develop and adopt their DFCs every five years. The last DFCs were completed in 2016, and the next round will be completed by Jan. 5, 2027. Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code governs the process for creating these goals. This code mandates a 90-day public comment period, after which time the voting GCDs in the GMA can amend the proposed DFCs before approval and final adoption. Chapter 36 also allows the voting GCDs located within the same management area to have different DFCs based on their boundaries' varying aquifer conditions. Chapter 36 requires the DFCs to represent the highest practicable level of production balanced with conservation.

For more information about the DFC process or to read the complete report, visit: