overcoming obstacles, NAWSC thrives to become
a major player in water utility industry
North Alamo Water Supply Corporation has stood the test of time. Through droughts and hurricanes. Through shaky international water treaties and financial uncertainties. Through it all, NAWSC has thrived to become the largest rural water supplier in the state of Texas.
“It has been our privilege to provide clean, safe drinking water to communities in the Rio Grande Valley since 1967,” said Steven P. Sanchez, general manager. “It is with great pride that we observe our 50th anniversary.”
Today, NAWSC serves an area that spreads for 973 square miles in northeast Hidalgo County, Willacy County and northwest Cameron County. Its business office is located at 420 S. Doolittle Road in Edinburg.
A highlight of its celebratory year, NAWSC was recognized during Rural Water Day, March 29, at the state Capitol in Austin. A resolution was read from the floors of the House of Representatives and the Senate to recognize NAWSC for its achievements and service to the community. Co-sponsors for the resolution (H.R. No. 334) were Rep. Eddie Lucio III, District 38, and Rep. Oscar Longoria, District 35. NAWSC representatives and their guests present for the reading on the floor were Sanchez; Steven Krenek, NAWSC president, board of directors; Dennis Goldsberry, NAWSC board vice-president; Lara Zent, executive director and general counsel, Texas Rural Water Association; Hunter Hook, vice president, Water and Community Facilities Banking Group CoBank.
On the Senate side, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. sponsored a similar resolution to commemorate the Golden Anniversary of NAWSC.
“Looking back at the beginning, we can thank a handful of men who had the vision to bring clean, safe water to households and farms in rural Hidalgo County,” said Sanchez. “Despite many obstacles and personal hardships, they started up a water utility in 1966 north of the city of Alamo.”
Adopting its location for its name, North Alamo Water Supply Corp. began operations in 1967 for rural residents of northeastern Hidalgo County. NAWSC eventually merged with other rural water systems: Mid Valley WSC, Stillman WSC, Mercedes Rural WSC, North Willacy WSC, Stillman WSC and Sunny Dew WSC.
These mergers along with increased population have contributed largely to making NAWSC the largest rural water utility in Texas and the third largest water utility in the Rio Grande Valley.
NAWSC was instrumental in bringing potable water to some communities, located outside of city limits. With no municipal water utility to hook up to, homeowners often used unsafe water sources, such as shallow wells, which could be subject to contamination and the possible spread of disease.
NAWSC now serves more than 44,900 meter connections, which represents an estimated population of nearly 180,000, and includes households, numerous businesses, 24 schools and six other public water systems.
NAWSC was one of the first water utilities in South Texas to pioneer the desalination of brackish groundwater and currently operates five reverse osmosis treatment plants, producing approximately 8.5 million gallons a day, and six surface water treatment plants, processing approximately 26 million gallons a day. In addition, NAWSC also provides wastewater treatment service for more than 3,261 connections in San Carlos, Hargill, Monte Alto and Lasara.
“Just as it has for the past 50 years, NAWSC will continue to work diligently to be a leader in the potable and wastewater utilities in Texas,” Sanchez said.
Written by Nora N. Garza, Outreach Coordinator for North Alamo Water Supply. She can be reached at 956-383-1618 or email@example.com