In 1917, the voters of Texas, recognizing the necessity of developing and conserving the State’s water resources and inspired by devastating floods of 1913 and 1914, passed a Constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to create special purpose political subdivisions of the State to serve regional areas, generally coincidental with river basins and to be generally known as river authorities.
SARA, created in 1937, is one of many such active river authorities in the State of Texas. Its jurisdiction covers 3,658 square miles—all of Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties.
A 12-member Board of Directors governs SARA. Six directors are elected from Bexar County and two are elected from each of the three other counties with each elected member serving six years. Policies established by the Board are executed by the management organization under the direction of a General Manager appointed by the Board. SARA has the statutory authority to impose an ad valorem tax for use in planning, operations and maintenance activities only. Its tax is statutorily limited to two cents per $100 of assessed property valuation. The current ad valorem tax rate is set at $0.01858 per $100 assessed property valuation. The adopted FY 2018-2019 budget is $222.4 million.
Inspiring Actions for Healthy Creeks and Rivers.
Protect and enhance our creeks and rivers through service, leadership and expertise.
SARA’s Core Values
- We care for our creeks and rivers as a valued natural and community resource.
- We exercise care in managing the public funds and resources entrusted to us.
- We care for our employees.
- We are honest, ethical and reliable.
- We are accountable to and value the trust and confidence of the citizens and communities we serve and each other.
- We are committed to innovative, collaborative, adaptive and strategic actions that result in watershed solutions.
- We provide responsive service, leverage our experience and strive to advance our knowledge, skills and capabilities.
- Generate lasting and recognized improvements to the health and safety of our creeks, rivers, estuaries and bays.
- Enhance community appreciation for and recreational use of our creeks and rivers.
- Advance and apply our expertise to influence, develop and implement watershed solutions that balance the environmental, economic and quality of life needs of our communities.
- Strengthen, develop and anticipate expertise at all levels to enhance results, improve service efficiencies, and build employee dedication.
- Expand, diversify and leverage funding sources and partnerships by delivering results.