Harris County MUD 501 is within the boundaries of the Harris Galveston Subsidence District (the Subsidence District) which regulates groundwater withdrawal. The Subsidence District has adopted regulations requiring reduction of groundwater withdrawals through conversion to alternate source water (e.g., surface water) in certain areas within the Subsidence District’s jurisdiction, including the land within Harris County MUD 501. The Subsidence District imposes disincentive fee penalties, currently $9.58 per 1,000 gallons of water, for groundwater use that exceeds its regulations.
In 2001, the Texas legislature created the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (the Authority) to, among other things, reduce groundwater usage in, and to provide surface water to, the western portion of Harris County and a small portion of Fort Bend County. Harris County MUD 501 is located within the boundaries of the Authority. The Authority has entered into a Water Supply Contract with the City of Houston to obtain treated surface water from Houston. The Authority has developed a groundwater reduction plan (GRP) and obtained Subsidence District approval of its GRP. The Authority’s GRP sets forth the Authority’s plan to comply with the Subsidence District regulations, construct surface water facilities, and convert users from groundwater to alternate source water (e.g., surface water). Harris County MUD 501 purchases its water supply from Harris County Municipal Utility District 500, which purchases surface water from the Authority.