Updated: Feb 4
The Zen master instructed a student to bring him some tea. The student dutifully went to the kitchen and prepared the tea. Soon the student returned with a teapot and saucer on a tray. The master picked up the teapot and poured tea into the cup. Soon the cup was full, but the master kept pouring. The tea spilled onto the saucer, then onto the tray, and then onto the floor. “Master, Master, what are you doing? You’re spilling the tea.” The master responded, “Yes, so I am. What is the lesson?” The confused student stammered that he did not know. “Okay, then. Return the tea to the kitchen and clean up this mess. Then I will give you the lesson.” The student returned and sat cross-legged before the master. Soon the master provided his lesson: “a full cup will hold no more tea. Come back to me, when there is room in your cup to listen and learn"
We all have heard so many spins of why the lake should or should not be lowered seasonally. I think everyone involved is looking at a full cup of tea, and more information or spinning of data is not leading to any new understanding of the issues at hand.
The Lake Conroe protest that has developed is not being funded by big business or an angel investor. This is being funded by concerned citizens who are all working together and making their voices heard. If this was just about boating on the lake, we would not have had thousands sign the petitions to Governor Abbott nor we we have had close to 1000 show up at the last SJRA board meeting. What is driving our efforts, is that we feel we have been misled by the SJRA and our politicians, and our opinions are not being heard. We are suffering damage to the lake’s economies and the environment. We do not have the engineering studies that support that this is a viable solution both for the residents of the lake and to those residents in the Kingwood Lake Houston area.
The first 2 years we tolerated this to allow for dredging. Now we are seeing that there is a whole new list of issues that are being used to continue this action without the SJRA being accountable for the damage this is creating. There is no end in sight for this plan.
To all those in the Kingwood / Lake Houston Watershed, we feel your losses and do not wish your flooding issues to be made worse. We also share in your anger with the City of Houston, and how it has managed your recovery. Why has it taken so long for any real relief efforts to be funded, and that actually work? The seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe has been galvanized as an action that will stop your flooding issues. Unfortunately, it will not do this.
The engineering studies must be completed all the way to include your communities. That information would give us a reason to change or continue our course of action. Economic and environmental impact studies need to be done to assess the damage that the seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe is producing as well.
If the engineering studies show that this is an effective solution, we will stand by and support you.
We can stop the flow of tea on the floor when we take a step back and understand this issues that have filled up our teacups, to the point they are overflowing.
We need our communities to work together.
Al Heilman MD