Nueces River Authority

Background and Statutory Authority

The Nueces River Authority (NRA) was created in 1935 by special act of the 44th Texas Legislature codified as Article 8280-115 (Texas Water Code Auxiliary Laws, as amended).Under supervision of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), NRA has broad authority to preserve, protect, and develop surface water resources including flood control, irrigation, navigation, water supply, wastewater treatment, and water quality control. NRA may develop parks and recreational facilities and may acquire and dispose of solid wastes. NRA may issue bonds and receive grants and loans.

NRA is governed by a Board of 21 directors appointed for staggered, six year terms by the Governor with advice and consent of the Texas Senate. NRA serves all or parts of 22 counties in South Texas, covering over 17,000 square miles, generally constituting the drainage area of the Nueces River and its tributaries and the adjoining coastal basins. NRA receives no state or federal appropriations or tax revenues. Its income is primarily from interest on investments and contracted services. NRA is audited annually by an independent certified public accounting firm.

The NRA has two facilities; its General Office located in Uvalde, Texas, and its Coastal bend Division Office in Corpus Christi, Texas. NRA is a co-sponsor, along with the City of Corpus Christi, of the Choke Canton Reservoir, located on the Frio River in Live Oak County. The NRA owns 20% of the water rights. This project completed in 1982, is operated exclusively by the City of Corpus Christi as a municipal and industrial water supply for the Coastal Bend region. NRA works closely with the City to protect the water quality and supply associated with Choke Canyon.

In 1997, NRA contracted with the City of Corpus Christi to construct a 101 mile, 64″ diameter, concrete-steel reinforced water pipeline to deliver water the City owns at Lake Texana in Jackson County to Corpus Christi treatment facilities in Nueces County. NRA issued $118,195,000 of its water supply revenue bonds to finance the construction of the “Mary Rhodes Pipeline.” The Port of Corpus Christi Authority was NRA’s Project Manager.

NRA has supported the Texas Clean Rivers Program since its inception and, presently, is responsible for conducting the Program, under contract with the TCEQ, in the Nueces Basin and its two adjoining coastal basins. This work is designed to identify water quality problems in the study area and to develop measures to correct such problems. 

NRA functions primarily as a regional water resource planning agency, being the only governmental entity having specific jurisdiction through the Nueces and adjoining coastal basins. NRA monitors state and federal activities which could affect Nueces Basin interests and responds as appropriate. NRA has sponsored and participated in numerous water supply studies within its service area. NRA is a co-sponsor of the Trans-Texas Water Program and is facilitating the Senate Bill 1 state water planning effort for the Coastal Bend Regional Water Planning Group.

The Sunset Review of The Nueces River Authority