Fresh Water Supply Districts

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

Fresh water supply districts have been established in Texas since 1919, when the Texas legislature authorized them under the conservation amendment of 1917 for the exclusive purpose of providing and distributing water for domestic and commercial use. The districts are organized on much the same basis as the water improvement districts and have no limitation on bonds or taxation. Through petitions, local commissioners' courts or individuals can request hearings and elections for new districts. A board of five elected supervisors directs the affairs of each district. The board fixes rates paid by water users, decides the terms on which water can be furnished, and makes rules regarding water use and distribution. The revenue earned is used for operation and maintenance expenses or to help pay debts or interest on bonds. The board also has the power to acquire rights-of-way for the construction of pipelines, levees, sewer systems, bridges, and other structures through private and public land, and it awards contracts to the lowest and best bidders for such construction. In 1992 Texas had a total of thirty-eight fresh water supply districts.

Gwendolyn Lea Gilchrist, Texas Water Resources Management by Water Districts and River Authorities (M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1992). West's Texas Statutes and Codes, Vol. 4 (St. Paul, Minnesota: West, 1984).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Fresh Water Supply Districts,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995