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The following is an explanation for the charges in your water bill relating to the conversion from groundwater to surface water in the western portions of Harris County. Mason Creek UD has economically provided groundwater to its residents through wells located within the district for over 30 years. Recent changes in the regulation of groundwater usage have affected the cost of providing water to district residents.

In 1975, the Texas Legislature created the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District (HGSD) to address the problem of land subsidence in Harris and Galveston counties. The rapid development of the region continues to deplete the region’s groundwater aquifers. Over the last ten years, the HGSD has worked with water districts, cities and other water well owners to reduce the use of groundwater, and ultimately to require conversion from groundwater to surface water. The conversion consists of a three-tiered schedule to be phased in as follows.

By Year % That Must Be From Surface Water
2010 30%
2020 70%
2030 80%

MCUD and other MUDs in the HGSD signed a contract with the City of Houston (COH) to meet the HGSD-mandated surface water requirements. Under the contract, MCUD must pay COH a monthly charge for all water usage. To cover this charge, MCUD has established a special "Groundwater Reduction Fee" that is stated separately on each water bill. The fee is $1.00 per 1,000 gallons, including minimum quantities and additional quantities, if any. Example: For a monthly bill showing usage of 6,000 gallons or less (minimum bill), the fee would be $6.00. Amounts collected from this fee are set aside and spent only to pay contract obligations to the COH. We hope this provides a comprehensive explanation for the changes on your water bill as well as the events pertinent to the region as a whole.

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