Natural Resources

Efficiently and responsibly managing and protecting our water and land resources for the sustainability, health, safety, and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas

Public Water Authorities

A "water authority" is a public body providing drinking water or wastewater service organized to take advantage of the tax-exempt capital markets available to public entities.  Such an entity can then borrow tax-exempt funds for projects.  A water authority may be created without previously having had any sort of corporate existence or may be converted from a nonprofit water association.  The content below addresses conversions because most water authorities are created by conversion.  For other information, please see Title XVII, Rules Governing Water Authorities.

The application for conversion to a water authority (WA) is a packet of items presented to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. The content of these items will depend on whether the proposed water authority is a nonprofit water association or an applicant not formally organized. 

The application for conversion to a water authority by a nonprofit water association must contain the following information:

  1. The name and address of the proposed water authority.
  2. The number of directors on the board of the proposed water authority.
  3. The names and addresses of the initial board of directors for the proposed water authority.
  4. The name of the proposed water authority's agency for service of process.
  5. A resolution adopted by the WA's Board of Directors requesting the change to a water authority, containing the following:
  • The water association desires to realize interest rate savings as a result of this conversion.
  • The water association cannot directly access the tax-exempt capital markets other than through a conduit issuer.
  • The water association was initially formed as a non-profit corporation.
  1. A copy of the water association's bylaws and the proposed new bylaws of the proposed water authority.
  2. A map showing the water association's existing geographic service area.
  3. A brief statement describing the existing water source.
  4. A statement and certification from the Secretary of State that the name of the proposed water authority is not identical to any other water authority.
  5. Certification of a vote of the membership approving conversion.
  6. A filing fee of $750.00 made out to ANRC.
  7. The Application must be signed by a majority of the Board of Directors of the WA

For more information regarding water authorities contact:
Tanner Thomas, Attorney Specialist
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Phone: (501) 823-1736