The Value of Water
We are all concerned about the price of water going up, and we can spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects; but if people continue to use water like it is free, then we have defeated the purpose. However, the alternative is no water. Water is essential, and it keeps our communities healthy, our cities moving, and our economy growing. However, water infrastructure is largely invisible, and few people realize what it takes to treat and deliver it across cities every day or how wastewater is cleaned so that it can be safely reused or returned to the environment. The quality of life we enjoy in the United States would not be possible without water and the infrastructure that fuels it.
The West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA) was created by Texas
Legislature in 2001 to accomplish many purposes, which include: provision of surface water and groundwater for various uses; the reduction of groundwater withdrawals; the conservation, preservation, protection, recharge, and prevention of waste of groundwater and of groundwater reservoirs; the control of subsidence caused by the withdrawal of water from the groundwater reservoirs; and other public purposes. This also led to the creation of the Surface Water Supply Project, which is projected to reduce groundwater consumption by 80% by 2035 by supplying surface water for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural uses for subsidence control in western Harris County, and will meet the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District (HGCSD) mandates.
How We Are Innovating for Future Growth
DEC has been the Program Manager of the WHCRWA since its creation in 2001 and played a major role in the establishment of the Water Authority. For much of its history, the WHCRWA has partnered with the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (HGSD), the Central Harris County Regional Water Authority (CHCRWA), the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA), and the North Fort Bend Water Authority (NFBWA) on various projects, and we are proud to serve the rapidly growing areas of Harris County and provide our expertise to ensure the delivery of clean, high-quality surface water and maintain groundwater resources for the residents and businesses. Water availability is the fuel that drives the growth of every region, and the bottom line is that adequate access to quality water will determine the fate of the state's rural and urban areas.
The Greater Houston metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. From 2000 to 2030, the area is projected to rank fifth in the nation in population growth – bringing the current population of 6.5 million to greater than 9.2 million residents. In anticipation of the additional water demand, the WHCRWA and NFBWA have forged a partnership with the City of Houston and other regional water providers on the expansion of the Northeast Water Purification Plant, a multi-billion-dollar project, and the Luce Bayou Interbasin Transfer Project, which will maintain the water level at Lake Houston by transferring water from the Trinity River to Lake Houston and to the Northeast Water Purification Plant. Below is a video that thoroughly explains the purpose behind these projects, and why it is important for our future generations.