The Upper Colorado River Authority (UCRA) was chartered in 1935 by the State of Texas to protect the watershed of Tom Green, Coke and other contiguous counties. There are nine directors who are appointed by the Governor of Texas. The UCRA currently employs four full time staff members, one part time staff and one management consultant. Board Members represent Tom Green, Coke and contiguous counties.
Prior to the 1990's, UCRA served primarily as a lending institution for local municipalities seeking to make area water improvements. While this continues to be a function of the river authority, the UCRA has taken the lead role in the community by involvement and participation in the Clean Rivers Program, EPA NPS abatement programs, Brush Control, Bank Stabilization, storm water management, rural water Supply, extensive public education and outreach efforts and various other special projects. Due to the success of these endeavors, the Upper Colorado River Authority has moved to the forefront as a leader in water quality and preservation in West Texas.
The UCRA occupies a building located in "Historic Old Town" adjacent to the North Concho River in San Angelo. The building, which is over 100 years old, was designed by locally renowned architect, Oscar Ruffini. The restoration and maintenance of the building is a partnership between the San Angelo Old Town Conservancy, the City of San Angelo and the Upper Colorado River Authority. The UCRA also has a second facility, the Water Education Center, located at 417. S. Oakes in San Angelo. The facility was developed in partnership with EPA, TCEQ & the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. Both buildings are open to the public.