The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District’s (HGSD) disincentive permit fee will increase 3.4% to $8.75 per thousand gallons of groundwater withdrawal on January 1, 2018. In 2016, the HGSD Board of Directors passed Resolution 2016-994 which indexed the disincentive permit fee to the City of Houston Treated Water Contract Rate (TU91). On April 1, 2017, the City of Houston implemented an automatic annual rate adjustment based on a combination of the 2016 Houston Regional Consumer Price Index and the City of Houston’s population increase.
The disincentive permit fee, established in section 8801.161(a-1) of the HGSD enabling act, serves as a regulatory tool by creating a disincentive to continued over-reliance on groundwater. In 2016, the Board of Directors revised the disincentive permit fee to reflect increases in related cost factors and comparable water supply rates. The resolution established that the disincentive permit fee rate would be updated annually. “The annual adjustment of the disincentive permit fee rate as defined in the resolution will assure that the District can continue to effectively and reasonably manage the groundwater resources of the District to cease subsidence and prevent future subsidence in Harris and Galveston Counties,” stated Michael Turco, General Manager of the HGSD.
The disincentive permit fee only applies to permittees who fail to comply with the District’s Regulatory Plan. Further information on the HGSD Regulatory Plan and HGSD Rules can be found at www.hgsubsidence.org.
The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District was created by the Texas Legislature in 1975. Its purpose is to provide for the regulation of groundwater withdrawal within the District to prevent subsidence. Historically, subsidence has contributed to coastal inundation, infrastructure damage, and flooding. The District includes all areas within Harris and Galveston Counties.