County, city want equal representation in water authority

In News by Reporter News

Both Brazoria County Commissioners Court and Pearland City Council recently passed a resolution supporting equal representation on the board of the Gulf Coast Water Authority.

The authority provides water for industry, agriculture and municipalities in three counties: Brazoria, Galveston and Fort Bend. Its governing board, however, consists of seven members representing Galveston County and one director each for Brazoria and Fort Bend counties.

The resolution, presented in Austin during Pearland Day Feb. 25-26, supports equal representation from all three counties.

“It’s long overdue,” Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said. “One county having seven and two others having one each – I don’t know how that made sense in my lifetime.”

Mayor Tom Reid said increasing populations and development in both Brazoria and Fort Bend counties warrants another look at the make-up of the board.

City Council unanimously approved the resolution Feb. 23 after being contacted by Commissioner Stacy Adams. County Commissioners approved it on Feb. 25.

The resolution states in part: “Residents of Brazoria County and Fort Bend County rely heavily upon the water from Gulf Coast Water Authority in their livelihoods, i.e. farming industry and industrial facilities and for personal use, i.e. municipal supply of water to individual residences and businesses located within the municipalities, and are entitled to equal representation on said board.”

Legislation allowing one representative for Fort Bend and Brazoria counties was authored by Rep. Dennis Bonnen and introduced in 2011.

Galveston County’s seven appointments to the board include two directors recommended by the Industrial Advisory Committee, two recommended by the Mainland Municipal Advisory Committee, one recommended by Galveston City Council and two directors appointed at-large. The Brazoria County and Fort Bend County directors currently are at-large appointments.

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