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Fort Bend Subsidence District

The Fort Bend Subsidence District was created by the Texas Legislature in 1989 as a conservation and reclamation district (Act of May 26, 1989, 71st Leg., R.S., ch. 1045, 1989 Tex. Gen. Laws 4251). The District's purpose is to provide for the regulation of the withdrawal of groundwater within the District to prevent subsidence that contributes to flooding, inundation or overflow of areas within the District, including rising waters resulting from storms or hurricanes, The District's boundaries are defined as all the territory within Fort Bend county

Although Fort Bend county had experienced only small amounts of subsidence prior to the 1980's several characteristics of the area raise concern about the potential for increasing subsidence in the future:

  • Rapid growth

  • Water supply dependent almost entirely on groundwater

  • Proximity to significant water-level declines in Harris County

Currently, total water use in the District is comprised of 60% groundwater and 40% surface water; the surface water, however, is primarily used for manufacturing and agricultural uses. The District was formed to address measured impacts from the predominant use of groundwater. In addition to the moderate, but noticeable, amounts of subsidence, the heavy dependence of groundwater has resulted in declining water levels in wells in the aquifers. Groundwater levels in wells drawing from the Chicot and Evangeline Aquifers in the eastern part of the District have declined in excess of of 150 feet from 1943 to 1977. These declines have resulted in increased operational costs to well users.

The District regularly analyzes the adequacy of previous District policies to meet its enabling legislation. The District's Groundwater Management Plan provides background planning information, descriptions of current groundwater regulatory practices and programs, and an overview of District administrative operations. That Document should assist the District's regulated community and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in understanding the historical direction and proposed future objectives of the District.

The Mission of the District is to control land subsidence and manage groundwater resources through regulation, conservation, and coordination with suppliers of alternative water sources to assure an adequate quantity and quality of water for the future.

The District performs the following activities directed toward fulfilling this mission by:

  • Technical research, measurements, and studies to determine and project the extent of subsidence and available groundwater supplies.

  • Preparation of regulatory and management plans based on current, technically sound information.

  • Issuance of permits to withdraw groundwater for beneficial uses in amounts that are not detrimental to the aquifer system.

  • Pursuit of enforcement actions, when needed, to achieve the objectives of the District.

  • Participating with other local and state entities to achieve the District's goals

  • Assessment of permit fees as a regulatory tool.

  • Cooperation with neighboring groundwater districts, governmental entities, and surface water suppliers to assure that adequate supplies of water are available for future use.

  • Providing the public with access to information about groundwater withdrawal, subsidence, conservation, and actions of the District.

  • Administration and operation of the District in a fair, equitable, and responsible manner to the benefit of all interests in the District.

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