Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 03/22/2018  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a presentation regarding the operation of ground monitors related to the Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) pipeline (as requested by Chairman Bunch);
FISCAL IMPACT:
The Township has no authority over the operation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) Continuously Operating Reference (COR) stations used by the University of Houston or monitors operated by the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA).
BACKGROUND:
On December 15, 2017, a resident of The Woodlands communicated with The Woodlands Township and the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) with concerns about the perceived risks posed by the Panther Branch Fault to the integrity of the Groundwater Reduction Plan (GRP) pipeline and the need for continued operation of certain existing ground monitors located within The Woodlands. Chairman Bunch requested a Board agenda item to receive an update from related parties regarding the operation of the ground monitors. There are currently two independent systems of monitors in operation. One set of Global Positioning System (GPS) Continuously Operating Reference (COR) stations operated by the University of Houston for research on subsidence in a location agreement with the Conroe Independent School District (CISD). The other system is operated by the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) to monitor geological points of interest along the Ground Water Reduction Pipeline.
 
The University of Houston operates three GPS COR stations located at The Woodlands High School, Powell Elementary and Galatas Elementary. The COR stations were installed under a National Science Foundation Grant as part of HoustonNet, a network currently comprised of 65 GPS antenna installed for the purpose of determining stability and subsidence in areas throughout the greater Houston area. HoustonNET exists within a network of approximately 120 other GPS stations owned by the Harris Galveston Subsidence District and other Houston area agencies. The monitors were installed beginning in 2014 at the CISD locations for an original five-year term. As part of the National Science Foundation grant agreement all data from the COR stations is provided to the public and available by website through the University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO).
 
The SJRA began its preliminary design of the 55-mile ground water reduction pipeline in 2012. As part of the design effort the SJRA required every design engineer to complete a geological investigation to determine the soil conditions that would be experienced during pipe installation. In addition, each engineer was required to conduct a desktop fault study to investigate the potential presence for faults in the vicinity of the project.
 
The SJRA studies identified two known faults, the Egypt Fault and the Big Barn Fault, located in The Woodlands along the transmission route. The studies also indicated two additional geological points of interest. One, located on FM 2978 south of the intersection with Research Forest. The other on Research Forest, centered on the intersection with Cat’s Cradle in the vicinity of The Woodlands High School. In 2015, the SJRA, in consultation with a professional geologist, established a geological monitoring system comprised of 20 Ground Movement Measurement Benchmarks at each of the two points of interest. The benchmarks allow periodic survey to monitor any potential ground movement impacts to the transmission system. The SJRA surveyor currently takes measurements every six months for an initial five year period thru 2019. Data gathered through the survey is analyzed by a registered professional geologist licensed in the State of Texas who is also a certified professional geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

Invitations were sent to the following entities and allowing these entities to provide a presentation of no more than 5 minutes on this matter at The Township Board meeting on March 22.
  • San Jacinto River Authority
  • Conroe Independent School District
  • University of Houston
  • Montgomery County Precinct 3
RECOMMENDATION:
Receive and accept the report.

    

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