Trinity River Authority: A Case Study

2009 words - 9 pages

The need for water in all of society is of the upmost importance in order for humankind to survive. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) states that the Earth’s surface is made up of about 70% water and only 3.5% of the water is fresh water suitable to consume (Perlman, 2013). In order to have the resource of water that society needs, companies such as the Trinity River Authority (TRA) are formed in different communities around the globe. Water supply and reclamation companies range in size and structure from public to privately owned and run.

Organizational Overview

The TRA is a public organization that is located in the Trinity River Basin in North Central Texas. The Trinity River Basin is made up of either the entire or portions of 17 counties which include: Tarrant, Dallas, Ellis, Kaufman, Navarro, Henderson, Freestone, Anderson, Leon, Houston, Madison, Walker, Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty, and Chambers. In 1954 the 54th Legislature of Texas created the TRA after the political push from the citizens’ group, Trinity Improvement Association (Trinity River Authority, 2013). The TRA is a government owned corporation that provides the public with fresh water and the reclaiming processes for multiple municipalities. The duties and functions of the organization involve wastewater treatment, water storage in the form of reservoirs, the distribution of these waters to independent entities such as municipalities or private organizations, and the recreational usage of reservoirs.
The Trinity River Authority has a complex and large structure in its organizational layout. Comprised of a mixture of appointed and hired employees the structure starts from the top with a 25 member board of directors that are all appointed by the Governor of Texas. The board of directors are all from the Trinity River Basin; with 3 from Dallas county, 3 from Tarrant county, 3 at large, and 1 from each of the remaining counties. The board has the power to call special meetings throughout the year beyond the regularly scheduled six that they have. Below the board of directors is the executive committee that is comprised of seven members whom hires the general manager that runs the rest of the organization. The organization is unique in that each individual facility is treated as an independent entity and has independent structuring dependent upon the attributes and function of the specific facility.
While the TRA is owned by the state, it is operated as independent financial entities. Funding for the organization is raised through individual contracts with local entities with supplemental income from the state through grants and annual budgeting. The funding for the TRA goes to provide the resources needed to insure short and long term sustainability of the water supply for citizens of North Texas. The resources include but are not limited to man-power, equipment, advertisement, political lobbying, and community outreach.
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