SAN ANGELO, Texas – Spring 2021, Governor Abbott appointed a new board member to the Upper Colorado River Authority. He also reappointed two members and named a third as the new chairperson. The UCRA was created in 1935 to protect waterways throughout the Concho Valley. Newly appointed chairperson, Nancy Blackwell says storm water drainage, runoff and waterway protection are key areas she wants the UCRA to focus on.

A large part of UCRA work is in the form of helping small communities secure grants for water projects. “There’s a lot of opportunity to broaden our workings in that area and work with some other communities,” explained UCRA Chairperson Nancy Blackwell. “Particularly smaller local communities, they really need some assistance, with getting grants with administering grants to do that kind of work. So there’s a lot of opportunity and we serve 14 counties, under the UCRA umbrella, there’s a lot of small communities in those 14 counties.”

The 14 counties served includes Runnels County, of which Blackwell is a native. Blackwell previously served on a similar board in the Houston area, and came on board the UCRA over a year ago at the invitation of the governors office. “Being able to kind of guide activities of entities that have to do with preserving the waters of the state of Texas,” said Blackwell. “So when I moved back to West Texas, which is where I’m from originally, the governor’s office called and asked if I would be willing to continue to serve.”

In her main professional life, Blackwell is a civil engineer specializing in wastewater. She takes pride in her work and to positive impact it can have on area water quality, saying in part, “clean water is a big part of what I do for work so it definitely aligns with with what UCRA is about.”

The next UCRA board meeting will be held Tuesday, May 25, 2021.