The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (HGSD) is a regulatory agency that works with regional water authorities and government entities to mitigate the risk of subsidence. The HGSD has mandated the conversion from use of water wells to alternative water (surface water).
Our area’s steadily increasing population and decades of aggressive groundwater usage, has not only caused aquifers to decline, but has resulted in land subsidence, and increased flooding.
The Texas Water Development Board projects a 24% population increase in WHCRWA over 50 years.
HGSD groundwater conversion requirements include; converting to 30% alternative water by 2010 (Accomplished); 60% by 2025 (In Progress); and 80% by 2035.
The completed Luce Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project includes a pump station, 3 miles of Dual 96-inch Diameter Pipelines and 23.5 Miles of Earthen Canal.
The Northeast Water Purification Plant (NEWPP) Expansion Project on Lake Houston is well along in construction, and will increase the City of Houston's 80 million gallons per day plant capacity to treat an additional 320 million gallons of water each day.
The Surface Water Supply Project will deliver 150 million gallons per day (MGD) of surface water from the NEWPP through over 55 miles of waterlines, and two pump stations to retail water providers in the West Harris County Regional Water Authority and North Fort Bend Water Authority.
WHCRWA has already constructed over 81.9 miles of distribution waterlines, and Pump Station #1. WHCRWA is delivering surface water to 70 water plants, with 49 districts receiving surface water. WHCRWA has an aggressive plan in place for design and construction of the WHCRWA’s distribution facilities to meet the HGSD conversion mandates.
To meet the HGSD groundwater reduction requirements and to ensure a reliable, long-term surface water supply a regional approach was adopted, partnering with the City of Houston and other area water authorities. The total estimated regional costs are estimated to be approximately $6.24 Billion.
WHCRWA does not charge a property tax, and therefore must charge sufficient surface water and water well pumpage rates to cover the debt service payments for bonds sold to pay for projects, as well as operating costs. The Board of Directors is committed to keeping the cost of water as low as possible and to keeping any rate increases reasonable and consistent with this commitment.
For more than a decade, WHCRWA has sponsored water conservation education programs for area students. Each year, the WHCRWA publishes a newsletter in order to provide current information about critical water issues and conservation related topics. WHCRWA recently launched a online learning management system wateru.whcrwa.com