David Collinsworth, General Manager/CEO

“Where does your water come from?” A question most people don’t consider is one that the Brazos River Authority’s newly appointed general manager/CEO frequently poses when explaining the roles and responsibilities of a river authority in Texas. As a career river authority employee, David Collinsworth has nearly 25 years tenure at the B.R.A. As of April 1, he began serving as the eighth general manager of the 89-year-old organization.

Mr. Collinsworth began his career with the B.R.A. soon after receiving his diploma from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) and fulfilling an internship with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s A. E. Wood Fish Hatchery. With a degree in Aquatic Biology and Organic Chemistry, he joined the B.R.A. as a field operator and water quality educator. He soon began managing water quality grant projects and focusing on non-point source pollution reduction programs. Over the following two decades, he has worked or managed nearly every aspect of the B.R.A., most recently serving as a regional manager for the Central and Lower Basin. He was appointed by the B.R.A. Board as General Manager/CEO to succeed Phil Ford, who retired after 17 years of service.

Mr. Collinsworth admits that from an early age he had a deep passion for being “on the water” which led him to consider becoming a pro fisherman. His love for fishing soon grew into a deep interest for aquaculture and thoughts of managing fisheries in Texas. It was through his work with the B.R.A. and the water planning process that Mr. Collinsworth recognized the importance of the state’s water supply, which made protecting water resources a professional priority.

"My responsibility is to drive an organization with an expert staff to continue in the development and management of critical water initiatives."

David Collinsworth, General Manager/CEO

In his role as General Manager/CEO, Mr. Collinsworth admits he and the staff are facing challenges and continuing change. “My responsibility is to drive an organization with an expert staff to continue in the development and management of critical water initiatives,” he said. The B.R.A.'s youngest dam, Sterling C. Robertson Dam at Lake Limestone, was built in the 1970s and is approaching 40 years of age. “Continuing the upkeep of these facilities with long-term capital improvement initiatives will protect our current water supply reservoirs,” he said.

Drawing from his earliest experience with the B.R.A., education remains a goal. “Many people don’t know where their water originates or how it gets to their faucets,” he said. "And, everybody has a different level of priority for water,” Mr. Collinsworth said.

As an avid boater whose sport of choice continues to be fishing, Mr. Collinsworth recognizes the passion Texans share for water recreation, an issue that came to the forefront during the recent five-year drought. As recreationalist and business interests strove for water to be left in reservoirs rather than being used for water supply purposes, Mr. Collinsworth also recognized the need for the beneficial use of Texas’ water.

“Texas continues to grow, and municipalities, industry and agricultural interests continue to need water supplies that are vital to their respective success,” he said. “Recreational opportunities and economic growth are a secondary benefit of water supply reservoirs, and they can continue to grow in spite of a reservoir’s intended purpose to supply water."

Mr. Collinsworth has a deep love for Central Texas and the Brazos River basin. He and his wife, Tara, who is an elementary school teacher, have raised two daughters while living in the Waco area. Their eldest daughter will graduate from The University of Texas this spring and is engaged to be married to a U.S. Marine currently stationed in Hawaii. Their younger daughter, a sophomore in high school, aspires to attend medical school and follow her passion for helping people.