Montgomery County residents can expect big changes in water policy after reformers swept the entire board of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, winning all seven seats.
The 2018 election is the first time the board has been elected. Previously members were appointed by various local government entities. Unaccountability and mismanagement by the current board has caused water bills in Montgomery County to skyrocket.
The root cause of higher water rates has been the board’s policy of arbitrary and harsh regulations on groundwater use, which has forced residents to buy water from the San Jacinto River Authority, creating a government monopoly on water.
A slate of reform candidates ran on a platform of cutting government regulations and letting the free market provide water to residents. Restore Affordable Water, a group of grassroots leaders knowledgeable on water issues, led the charge to get the reformers elected. They also had help from the county’s two tea party groups and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
It is evident that voters have had enough of the LSGCD’s monopolistic water policies. The board will now go from a 6-1 establishment majority to a 7-0 reform majority. The two incumbents from the board’s majority were soundly defeated, including board president Rick Moffatt, who lost to Republican activist Jon Bouche. The lone reform minded incumbent, Webb Melder, won in a landslide.
The results from the LSGCD are the latest in a long string of grassroots victories in Montgomery County, and further indicate the large influence of the two local tea parties and the county’s vibrant grassroots conservative movement.