The History of the District
The genesis of the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) was in 1986, when a group of cities and utilities in the Denton County area began to meet informally with the City of Dallas to plan for an adequate water supply. Also, they began to address needs for regional cooperation on a variety of issues, including compliance with water, wastewater, and solid waste regulations. After the cities and utilities decided to initiate a regional plan, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) awarded a grant to help develop the plan.
By 1988, the plan was complete, and legislation was drafted to create an independant water district to serve approximately 30 cities. Visionary leaders believed a new, independant district with fresh ideas could provide the services most needed by growing cities of the region. Support from cities was unanimous. The legislature passed the bill, and the governor signed it on June 6, 1989. In 1995, an amendment was approved by the Legislature to enable the City of Irving to become a member. On May 3, 2001, the Governor signed SB 835 to include watershed protection as a district activity.
In contrast with typical legislation for water districts, member cities were not named in the original legislation. Rather, the legislation provided for a 2-year sign-up period and specified that public entities could join as Participating Members or as Contract Members for up to 10 years. Everyone was pleased when 25 entities executed contracts to become a part of the District. Each member has a representative on the governing body, Denton County appoints two representatives, and non-public utilites have contracts under which they are represented on the governing body by an at-large representative. The Board is composed of 27 representatives from cities, towns, water districts, and the County.
The Upper Trinity Regional Water District has a very clear mission; to provide utility services that its customers need, all without any power of taxation. Upper Trinity is a governmental enterprise that provides utility service on a wholesale basis, an enterprise that gets all of its revenue from sale of needed services. The District was organized by the cities and utilities it serves and was designed to be progressive, responsive, and competitive.
The District is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by its members and is considered by many to be a model regional agency. Members of the District set the policies of the District and establish the programs through their direct representation on the Board of Directors. Consequently, the services provided by the District fit local needs and are in response to the requests of District Members. Since the District has no taxation powers, it must remain focused on its mission, in that the District relies solely on the revenue from services that customers choose to buy.