Meet Our Customers


Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA) provides water for industry, agriculture and municipalities in Brazoria, Fort Bend and Galveston counties. This includes more than 185,000 customers just in Galveston County.

You can trace the beginnings of the Gulf Coast Water Authority back to 1908 with the creation of the Cane and Rice Belt Irrigation Company and construction of a pump station on the Brazos River. In the early 1930s, additional pump stations and relift stations on the system were added as well as extensions to the canal system, eventually running through Brazoria County and reaching into Galveston County. The Briscoe Irrigation System, consisting of an additional pump station on the Brazos and more canals, was established in 1940. The Brazos River Authority purchased these two systems in 1966 and 1967.

In 1988, GCWA bought the Canal Division from the BRA. This allowed the GCWA to provide water supply for industry, irrigation, and municipal use in what had expanded to its current three-county area. Then in 2006, GCWA purchased the Chocolate Bayou Water Company, also known as the Juliff Canal System, which included another pump station on the Brazos River as well as pump stations on three bayous in Brazoria County, Chocolate, Mustang and Halls. GCWA’s Administrative Office is located in Texas City.

Canal Division

The GCWA Canal Division operates out of its Alvin office. The division operates the American, Briscoe and Juliff canal systems. This includes about 400 miles of main-line canals and laterals, and about 400,000 acre-feet of water rights. Roughly 18,000 acres of commercial and hybrid seed rice are irrigated annually in Brazoria and Galveston counties as well as at a rice research facility which provides worldwide technology for the rice industry. Industrial customers served by the Canal Division include Ineos and Ascend Performance Materials. Municipal customers served include the cities of Sugar Land, Pearland and Missouri City, as well as Fort Bend WCID #2 and Pecan Grove MUD.

Water Treatment

GCWA owns and operates the Thomas S. Mackey Water Treatment Plant in Texas City. This 50 million gallon-per-day conventional surface water plant serves13 water utilities in Galveston County. The plant was built by Texas City in 1978 and acquired by the GCWA in 1983. Its customers include Texas City, La Marque, Galveston, Hitchcock, League City, GCWCID #1, GCWCID #8, GCWCID #12, GCFWD #6, GCMUD 12, Bacliff MUD, Bayview MUD and San Leon MUD.

Industrial Division

Through acquisitions and exchanges, the Industrial Division in Texas City was acquired by GCWA in 1971. The division operates a 900 acre off-channel reservoir, a canal system and a pump station delivering an average of 60 million gallons of surface water per day to Texas City industries. These industries include DOW/UCC, Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery, Marathon Petroleum, Valero, Eastman Chemical and Ashland.

To learn more about GCWA, please click here.