Combatting Drought Stage 2: 10 Essential Water Conservation Tips for Recovery

The District remains in Drought Stage 2 conditions. Between May 2023 and August 2023, the static water level in the Evangeline Aquifer dropped on average 16.5% between the District’s two Evangaline water wells. As of January 2024, the aquifer’s static water levels have rebounded about 9.3% on average, but are still down 7.2% from the May 2023 levels. Please continue to conserve water. 10 Tips to conserve water are as follows:

MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE

Stage 2 of the district’s drought contingency plan has been triggered.

Please limit irrigation and lawn watering to the days indicated below.

  • Thursdays & Sundays for Retail Water Customers with an Even Numbered Address (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8)
  • Tuesdays & Saturdays for Retail Water Customers with an Odd Numbered Address (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9)
  • Thursdays and Sundays for Retail Water Customers responsible for watering common areas.

Irrigation of landscaped areas is further mandatory limited to between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on the designated watering day(s) and 2:00 a.m. on the following day(s). However, irrigation of landscaped areas is permitted at any time if it is by means of a hand-held hose equipped with a functioning positive shut-off device, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five (5) gallons or less, or drip irrigation system.

  • Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on the designated watering day(s) and 2:00 a.m. on the following day(s). Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a hand-held bucket or a hand­held hose equipped with a functioning positive shut-off device. Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station. Further, such washing may be granted a variance from this restriction in accordance with Section XI of this Plan if the health, safety, or welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleansing, such as garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
  • Use of water to fill, refill, or add to any Aesthetic Water Use is prohibited except between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on the designated watering day(s) and 2:00 a.m. on the following day(s).
  • Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a recirculation system.
  • Use of water from hydrants shall be limited to firefighting, related activities, or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety, and welfare, except that use of water from designated fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed under special permit from the District.
  • Use of water for the irrigation of golf course greens, tees, and fairways is prohibited except between the hours of 9:00 p.m. on the designated watering day(s) and 2:00 a.m. on the following day(s). However, if the golf course utilizes a water source for irrigation other than that provided by the District’s potable water supply system, the golf course shall not be subject to this restriction.
  • All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to their patrons except when requested.
  • All other Non-essential Water Uses are prohibited.

Overcoming Drought Together: 10 Essential Water Conservation Tips Amidst Evangeline Aquifer’s Decline

The District remains in Drought Stage 2 conditions.

Between May 2023 and August 2023, the static water level in the Evangeline Aquifer dropped on average 16.5% between the District’s two Evangaline water wells. Since August 2023, the aquifer’s static water levels have rebounded about 4.75% on average, but are still down 11.75% from the May 2023 levels.

Please continue to conserve water. 10 Tips to conserve water are as follows:

Water Wells and Conservation Efforts: Ensuring Quality Water Supply for Our Community

The District currently operates three water wells at our two Water Plants to provide water to all its customers. These Water Plants are shared in ownership with Montgomery County MUD No. 88 and Spring Creek UD. The District has two water wells which pump from the Evangeline Aquifer and one from the Jasper Aquifer. Historically in the District, the water produced from the two Evangline water wells has produced superior water quality compared to the water produced from the Jasper water well.

Due to the drought and increased water usage, our well production continues to increase year over year. Over the years, we have seen continued decline of the Evangline Aquifer water levels and thus have recently been forced to lower the pumping equipment for one of our water wells approximately 100-feet.

In order to try and conserve our Evangeline water wells, the District will begin increasing the production of the Jasper water well, which has a different water quality than the Evangeline wells. If you have any questions or concerns about the water quality, please contact the District’s Operator, Municipal Operations & Consulting, at (281) 367-5511.

Drought Water Rate FAQ

Pursuant to Section IX of the District’s Drought Contingency Plan, additional surcharges for water usage of 7,000 gallons and above may be applied to any user of the District’s system should the District enact Stage 2, 3, or 4 of its Drought Contingency Plan. The Water and Sewer Rates are included below.

Legends Ranch Property Owners Association October 9, 2023 E-mail

Dear Residents:

The Board of Directors for Montgomery County Municipal Utility District (the “District”) wishes to clarify inaccurate information that was stated in an e-mail sent out by the Legends Ranch Property Owners Association (“POA”) on October 9, 2023.

The District did not increase its water rates for residential users and did not increase the POA’s water bill by 422%The District did not, and has no plans to, increase its residential water rate.  At its August meeting, the District increased its “Public Space User” water rate, which applies equally to the POA and the Legends Run Homeowners Association–thirteen irrigation meters in total.  These irrigation meters irrigate public space/common areas.  The District increased this rate from $0.45 per 1,000 gallons of water used to $1.90, which equals the District’s cost to produce such water and the first “Public Space User” rate increase since creation of the District in 2001.  While this component of the water bill was raised by approximately 422%, the total water rate includes components from the San Jacinto River Authority (“SJRA”) and Lonestar Groundwater Conservation District (“LSGCD”) which are out of the District’s control.  The POA’s e-mail misstated the impact this increase will have on its total water rate – which will rise from approximately $3.825 per 1,000 gallons of water used to $5.275.  This “Public Space User” rate increase reflects an approximate 38% increase to the POA’s water bill – not a 422% change.

The increase will not increase the POA’s irrigation water bill by “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as stated by the POA.  Based on the previous two-year history of water use by the POA, should the POA continue to use similar amounts of water, its water bill would increase by approximately $1,504.00 per month.  Should the POA choose to pass this cost onto its residents (which is a discretionary choice by the POA, not the District), it could do so by charging each lot within the POA an additional $11.95 per year, or less than $1 per month. Should the POA reduce their average water usage by 28%, there would be no financial impact to its annual bill. For more detail, please visit the linked presentation, specifically, slides 12, 13 and 14: mcmud089_townhallpresentation_20231010.pdf – Google Drive.

This was not done to “punish” the POA.  The “Public Space User” water rate increase was enacted by all the MUDs that share our water facilities (the District, Spring Creek Utility District, and Montgomery County Municipal Utility District No. 88) and applies to all homeowner associations in those districts.  The District’s goal in increasing the “Public Space User” water rate was to put a financial incentive in place to encourage homeowner associations to practice water conservation.  Conservation is our biggest tool to lower water production costs and protect the groundwater resources we all share.  We look forward to working with the POA to ensure our wells and water supply are protected for years to come.  The District appreciates the recent efforts by the POA to conserve water.

The District’s water supply has been impacted by the summer droughts, which have occurred over the past two years. The District has three water wells, which supply water to the District, Spring Creek Utility District, and Montgomery County Municipal Utility District No. 88. The District performs active maintenance and testing of the wells to ensure we are able to continue providing water to our customers, and to prolong the life of our water supply. Unfortunately, during the previous two years, Montgomery County and Harris County have experienced periods of severe drought which have impacted the aquifers static water levels, which we pump our water from. The District has been and will be continuously be looking into other sources of water such as surface water from the SJRA, reclaimed water from wastewater treatment plants for irrigation, and even a new well drilled into a deeper aquifer.  But these potential sources are expensive and might represent a reduction in water quality.  Any other water sources would take several years to enact.  Conservation is our biggest tool to lower water production costs and protect the groundwater resources we all share.

For more information on the water supply please visit the District’s website for a Water Supply Frequently Asked Questions: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ipf-YwWFun5mkgj_YswzC3W1W6bdsVQr/view.

Sincerely,

The District Board of Directors

Stage 2 Drought Conditions Persist

The District remains in stage 2 drought conditions, due to the low water level in the aquifer. During the month of August 2023 the District pumped 61,154,000 gallons of water.

Please continue to conserve water.