Originally created as the Coastal Industrial Water Authority, the Authority 's name was changed to Coastal Water Authority, effective August 26, 1985, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 674, Acts of the 69th Legislature of the State of Texas, Regular Session, 1985 (S. B. 1377). The Authority, a governmental agency and political subdivision of the State of Texas, is located within Harris, Chambers, Liberty Counties. The Authority, a conservation and reclamation district, was created in 1967 by Special Act of the 60th Legislature of the State of Texas (Article 8280-355, Vernon's Texas Civil Statues) pursuant to Article XVI Section 59, of the Constitution of Texas, with powers, among others, to transport and deliver water inside and outside the Authority, to acquire and construct all necessary properties and facilities necessary for such purposes, and to issue revenue bonds payable from water conveyance contract revenues (see H. B. 373, effective June 16, 1967).
The Authority is governed by a Board of seven directors, who serve staggered two-year terms. Three of the Board member are appointed by the Texas Governor (one resident each from Harris, Liberty and Chambers counties). The remaining four Board members are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Houston, with the consent and approval of the Houston City Council.
CWA is also the contract operator for Lake Houston Dam and Reservoir, and works in close association with the City's Department of Public Works and Engineering.