Our History

Our History

In 1953,[1] and again in 1968, the City of Texarkana, TX, in cooperation and with the support of its neighboring cities, undertook the sponsorship of the conversion of a portion of the flood control pool and pursuant to contracts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1952 and 1968 (under contracts Nos. DA-16-047-eng-2033, DACW29-68-A-0103, and DACW29-69-C-0019).

In 1966, the Lake Texarkana Water Supply Corporation (“LTWSC”) was created pursuant to the provisions of the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act under Article 1434a, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas (1925) for the purpose of financing the acquisition, construction and maintenance of its projects and improvements to furnish a water supply to towns, cities, private corporations, individuals and military camps and bases.[2] Under the terms of a Water Supply System-Purchase-Financing Arrangement with LTWSC, Texarkana, through its Water Utilities Department, was to maintain and operate all facilities owned jointly by Texarkana and the Member Citifies through their respective interests in LTWSC. In 1969 in order to support LTWSC’s debt issue and facilitate administration of the system, the City of Texarkana, TX signed contracts with surrounding Texas-side communities, known as the original Member Cities (including Annona, Avery, DeKalb, Hooks, Maud, New Boston, Texarkana, TX, and Wake Village), collectively known as “Member City Contracts.”

Over time, Texarkana, TX on behalf of itself and other area users, secured water permits from the State of Texas (Permit Nos. 1563, 1563a, and 1563b), together with Certificate of Adjudication 03-4836 issued March 31, 1987, fixing priority dates of 1951, 1957, 1967, and 1981, to impound, divert, and appropriate from the public resources of the state public water from the Sulphur River Basin impounded in Lake Texarkana, later named Lake Wright Patman Reservoir, for both municipal and industrial use.

In order to ensure that Texarkana would recover sufficient funds to meet the capital and operating costs of the LTWSC system, payments for water treatment and transportation were based on each of the Member Cities’ pro rata share of the total budgeted capital and operating costs of LTWSC’s facilities, determined according to the “minimum” annual delivered quantity specified under the Member City Contracts, respectively, even if actual usage fell below this level. In addition to principal and interest payments to discharge LTWSC’s debt, operating costs included all other expenditures reasonably incurred by the Texarkana Wet Utilities Department in the operation and maintenance of the LTWSC. In addition, Member Cities were guaranteed a specific “maximum” annual delivered amount of water. Payments for amounts over the specified maximum annual delivered  were to be determined based on the budgeted costs incurred by Texarkana to deliver this water and were subject to the capabilities of the existing system capacity. Specific provisions were also included to address any potential for additional facilities.

Reflecting their status as full participants in the LTWSC, Texarkana agreed to convey an undivided, pro rata interest in the associated Lake Wright Patman Reservoir facilities to each of the Member Cities once all debt associated with the acquisition and construction of the system had been fully paid. LTWSC undertook the financial management of the Member Cities’ contributions for operation and management of the system. In 1985, Millwood Water Treatment Plant (“Millwood”) was built and unbeknownst to the Member Cities, Texarkana included costs associated with its operation in determining the rate charged to Member Cities. From 1980 until 2001, Texarkana through its Water Utilities Department developed and administered the annual total cost for specified minimum consumption for each Member Entity and incorporated costs for Millwood. In 2002, Member Cities filed a lawsuit to reconcile the difference between the contractual rates and those charged over time.

In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature approved Senate Bill 1223 creating Riverbend Water Resources District (“Riverbend” or “District”) as a conservation and reclamation district under and essential to accomplish the purposes of Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, as set forth in Title 6, Special District Local Laws Code, Subtitle L, Municipal Water Districts, Chapter 9601, with statutory powers including the authority to acquire any and all storage rights and storage capacity in a reservoir or other water source inside or outside the boundaries of the district, and to acquire the right to take water from that reservoir or source, subject to the rights or permits held by municipalities or other persons.

In 2011, the 83rd Texas Legislature reconstituted the Board of Directors of Riverbend to be composed of five qualified voters who are residents of the district, not otherwise serving as an elected official or as an employee of a Riverbend member, selected by the local governing bodies of the Riverbend members as provided by law. These appointed directors represent the Member Entities on a variety of water related issues. The District provides regional protection and management services to these Member Entities, in exchange for a fee per 1,000 gallons of water used within each entities’ jurisdiction. In addition to the services provided by the District, the fee is in exchange for dollar-for-dollar credits towards future participation in water purchases, if the District develops new water. This is known as future “water credits.”

Today, Riverbend is comprised of sixteen Member Entities including the Cities of Annona, Atlanta, Avery, DeKalb, Hooks, Leary, Maud, Nash, New Boston, Redwater, Texarkana Texas, Wake Village and TexAmericas Center, as well as Bowie, Cass and Red River Counties.

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[1] Note that the original 1953 contract was between the United States and the Citifies of Texarkana, TX and Texarkana, AR for 13 million gallons per day (40 acre-feet) from Texarkana Reservoir and under the management of Texarkana Water Supply Corporation. The New Boston Road Plant was built sometime around 1958 to provide treatment and supply under this original contract.

[2] When LTWSC issued bonds for additional water supply in 1969, it did so retiring the debt of the former Texarkana Water Supply Corporation, which was merged into LTWSC, to finance additional system improvements and extensions at the New Boston Road Treatment Plan (and reservoir intake structure) necessary to facilitate the treatment and transportation of water from Lake Wright Patman Reservoir.
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operating costs of LTWSC’s facilities, determined according to the “minimum” annual delivered quantity specified under the Member City Contracts, respectively, even if actual usage fell below this level. In addition to principal and interest payments to discharge LTWSC’s debt, operating costs included all other expenditures reasonably incurred by the Texarkana Wet Utilities Department in the operation and maintenance of the LTWSC. In addition, Member Cities were guaranteed a specific “maximum” annual delivered amount of water. Payments for amounts over the specified maximum annual delivered  were to be determined based on the budgeted costs incurred by Texarkana to deliver this water and were subject to the capabilities of the existing system capacity. Specific provisions were also included to address any potential for additional facilities.

Reflecting their status as full participants in the LTWSC, Texarkana agreed to convey an undivided, pro rata interest in the associated Lake Wright Patman Reservoir facilities to each of the Member Cities once all debt associated with the acquisition and construction of the system had been fully paid. LTWSC undertook the financial management of the Member Cities’ contributions for operation and management of the system. In 1985, Millwood Water Treatment Plant (“Millwood”) was built and unbeknownst to the Member Cities, Texarkana included costs associated with its operation in determining the rate charged to Member Cities. From 1980 until 2001, Texarkana through its Water Utilities Department developed and administered the annual total cost for specified minimum consumption for each Member Entity and incorporated costs for Millwood. In 2002, Member Cities filed a lawsuit to reconcile the difference between the contractual rates and those charged over time.

In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature approved Senate Bill 1223 creating Riverbend Water Resources District (“Riverbend” or “District”) as a conservation and reclamation district under and essential to accomplish the purposes of Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, as set forth in Title 6, Special District Local Laws Code, Subtitle L, Municipal Water Districts, Chapter 9601, with statutory powers including the authority to acquire any and all storage rights and storage capacity in a reservoir or other water source inside or outside the boundaries of the district, and to acquire the right to take water from that reservoir or source, subject to the rights or permits held by municipalities or other persons.

In 2011, the 83rd Texas Legislature reconstituted the Board of Directors of Riverbend to be composed of five qualified voters who are residents of the district, not otherwise serving as an elected official or as an employee of a Riverbend member, selected by the local governing bodies of the Riverbend members as provided by law. These appointed directors represent the Member Entities on a variety of water related issues. The District provides regional protection and management services to these Member Entities, in exchange for a fee per 1,000 gallons of water used within each entities’ jurisdiction. In addition to the services provided by the District, the fee is in exchange for dollar-for-dollar credits towards future participation in water purchases, if the District develops new water. This is known as future “water credits.”

Today, Riverbend is comprised of sixteen Member Entities including the Cities of Annona, Atlanta, Avery, DeKalb, Hooks, Leary, Maud, Nash, New Boston, Redwater, Texarkana Texas, Wake Village and TexAmericas Center, as well as Bowie, Cass and Red River Counties.