JOHNSON COUNTY SPECIAL UTILITY DISTRICT
In 1965, the Johnson County Rural Water Supply Corporation was organized and chartered under state statutes as a non-profit corporation, much like many others of its kind in Texas during this era. The beginnings of these rural water suppliers arose throughout the country and were funded through loans from the Farmer's Home Administration. The system began with 305 users and served a genuine need in supplying drinking water to the rural community. In 1972, the West Prairie Water Supply Corporation in the northern portion of the County was merged into the existing system. The merger of two entities into one was named the Johnson County Rural Water Supply Corporation. In 1977, the Nolan River Water Supply Corporation in the southern portion of the County also merged with the Corporation. This public water supplier with such humble beginnings is steadily evolving into much more as time and growth continue in Johnson County.
In 2000, the system was serving 10,200 connections. The Board of Directors voted to convert Johnson County Rural Water Supply Corporation to a special utility district (SUD). Converting to a SUD allows water supply corporations to become a political subdivision. The largest cost savings accumulate for governmental entities issuing tax-exempt bonds to fund capital projects. Finally, in 2004, the Texas legislature approved the conversion, and the organization began operating as the Johnson County Special Utility District.
For several years, the Joshua area was served by the Johnson County Fresh Water Supply District #1 (FWD for freshwater district). In 2005, the JCSUD staff had been approached to consult with the FWD as they were going through several years of tough economic times and mismanagement. The effort here was to help the FWD officials regain the best management practices and streamline costs. It led to discussions in measuring the merit of the FWD to consolidate the two systems. The next year, the FWD approved a resolution to conjoin with JCSUD and an application was made with the State to consummate the merger. In April 2007, the District began managing the day-to-day operation of the FWD. Merging the Joshua area water system with JCSUD helped to better maintain stable rates among all the domains of ratepayers which now totaled 14,426.
2012 was quite a mile-marker year in the life of the District. The Brazos River Authority - Surface Water Advanced Treatment System (SWATS) which once served five municipal suppliers was favorably reduced to only two. The ownership and management transferred from the Brazos River Authority to a newly created Brazos Regional Public Utility Agency (PUA). Only two owner-entities created and sustain the Brazos Regional Public Utility Agency today – JCSUD and AMUD. The five-member governing body of the PUA are also Board members of the sponsors. In this transition, Granbury decided it worked best to construct their own treatment plant. Also, the city of Keene agreed to become a direct wholesale customer to JCSUD.
The Brazos Regional PUA has proven to be a great improvement as the new organization of record provides more favorable results to the two sponsors it serves. Having sources in both the Trinity and Brazos basin to draw from affords the District an extra measure of safety when one supplier needs to suspend service.
In June 2019, JCSUD moved its business operation from Cleburne, Texas, to occupy its new facility on FM 3048 in Joshua, Texas. Now begins a new era as the total business and operations finally originate from a central location relative to the District’s area of service.
In the last 20 years, the number of connections has doubled to some 19,661 households today, an estimated 57,000 in population. Besides these retail connections, the District takes on a greater role as a regional wholesale water provider. The City of Alvarado, City of Keene, Bethany Special Utility District, and Monarch Utilities (each serving over 1,000 connections) have wholesale water contracts with the District for long-term water supply needs. The City of Joshua and the Lillian community look to JCSUD as their water provider.