Land subsidence is sinking of the land surface. The elevation of the land surface is lowered by compressing the many layers of clay beneath the land surface. In the greater Houston area, land subsidence is caused by the withdrawal of groundwater. When we pump large amounts of groundwater from the aquifers beneath us, we pull water out of the many layers of clay, which allows the clay to compact under the weight of everything above them.
A subdivsion in Baytown has been turned into a park because it sunk and is now underwater.
The Fort Bend Subsidence District was created by the Texas Legislature in 1988 with the intent to study and prevent subsidence in Fort Bend. I was at the Rose/Rich Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Meeting on Wednesday morning when I saw a presentation from the Subsidence District.
The County is split into three areas.
Precinct 1 covers everything south and west of the Brazos. It also includes Sienna Plantation from the Brazos north to McKeever Road, Teal Run, Fresno and Arcola.
The next slide shows that most of the pumping of groundwater is in Area A. The Richmond/Rosenberg Subarea and Area B have remained fairly constant over the years.
The current plan is for Area A to reduce its groundwater usage 30% by 2013 (2015 for the Rich/Rose subarea) and 60% by 2025. Area B is exempt from conversion. As the Commissioner of the largest rural precinct in Fort Bend, I will represent the interest of the farmers and ranchers to make sure that Area B remains exempt.