The TRWA Legal and Legislative Services Department provides a wealth of legal services to member water systems. Benefits of membership include:
• Consultation and Legal Advice – Our staff attorney fields questions from members covering a variety of legal issues that water utilities face. All calls are confidential and members receive the guidance they need to make informed decisions without having to initially consult outside legal counsel.
• Legal assistance to attorneys representing member systems – Our staff attorney also provides consultation on water law issues to outside legal counsel representing members on permit applications and other contested matters.
• Lobby Team – TRWA works year-round to represent rural water interests at the Texas Legislature and before the regulatory agencies. TRWA’s lobby team drafts legislation, prepares testimony, conducts bill analyses and meets with legislators and their staff to educate them on rural water issues and concerns. TRWA also represents our members’ interests before regulatory agencies, which includes participating in rulemaking, attending stakeholder meetings and hearings, and monitoring meeting agendas.
• Keep It Legal Q&A – Our legal column, "Keep It Legal,” is published in every issue of TRWA's bi-monthly magazine, Quench. The column includes real questions from members and provides answers so that all members may benefit. The Q&As are archived on the TRWA website in a searchable database.
• Training – TRWA conducts many conferences throughout the year where our legal team presents on legal and policy issues. TRWA also co-sponsors a Water Law Seminar every legislative session year with Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA).
• Legal resources -- TRWA maintains a law library and access to Westlaw electronic legal research to help legal staff quickly and effectively research the law to help members resolve their issues. TRWA also publishes a Legal Handbook with relevant laws and regulations in a two-volume set.
• Sample contracts and policy form documents – TRWA has developed a series of sample governance and system operation documents for both water supply corporations and districts that are updated on a regular basis to be consistent with applicable laws and rules. These forms are turn-key and adaptable to specific situations. They are available for free or for a small fee, depending on the document. Examples include:
♦ Sample Tariff for WSCs
♦ Sample District Service Policy
♦ Sample Board Policies
♦ Annual Meeting and Election Procedures for WSCs
♦ Conflict of Interest and Ethics Policies
♦ Personnel Policies