For the River — For the Future


Photo by Tito Nieto
The Rio Grande Regional Water Authority was created by the Texas Legislature in 2003 as a conservation and reclamation district “to serve a public use and benefit” by bringing together regional water interests to accomplish projects and services within Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Zapata, and Webb counties (excluding the City of Laredo).

Our mission is to enhance the capability of our primary water source – the Rio Grande – to serve our region well into the future. Our projects are focused on achieving this primary goal.

The Authority was specifically created to supplement—not replace—the services, regulatory powers, and authority of irrigation districts, water development supply corporations, counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions within its borders.

The RGRWA operates in accordance with established operating guidelines, including by-laws. All RGRWA meetings are open to the public and provide opportunity for public comment.

Organizational Structure
The Authority is directed by an 18-member board, appointed to fairly represent the diverse interests of the region. Committees are charged with tracking specific issues and reporting back to the full board. Read More 

The RGRWA operates in accordance with established operating guidelines, including by-laws adopted in 2003 and revised in 2009.

Annual Report
In January of each year, the RGRWA issues a report of accomplishments for the preceding year.

2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report


Establishment: 2003.

Functions: Desalination, water supply, and wastewater treatment, agricultural water conservation, solid waste, state and federal funds, assist in delivery of water from the Rio Grande. The Authority also certifies water rights held inside the Authority’s boundaries.

Legal Authority: SB 1902 (78th Legislature), SB 707 (80th Legislature), and Texas Constitution Article XVI, Section 59, which authorizes conservation and reclamation districts. SB 707amended the powers and duties of the RGRWA.

Boundaries: Counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy, Starr, Zapata, and Webb (excluding Laredo). Click here for a map.

Governance: 18 member board representing irrigation districts, the public, municipal class entities, water supply corporations, and counties.

Authority to Contract: With individuals, corporations (municipal, public, or private), government agencies (U.S., state or political subdivision), and through an international cooperation agreement.

Funding: The Authority may borrow money, issue negotiable bonds, and apply for, accept, receive, and administer gifts, grants, loans, and other funds available from any source. The Authority may impose a fee or assessment on a member of the conference or another water user to pay authorized expenses of the authority. Each fiscal year, the board shall determine the amount of the fee or assessment based on the water rights certified by the board.

Prohibitions: The RGRWA is expressly prohibited from condemning water rights or imposing ad valorem taxes.