You never know when disaster will strike and you will need help.
The Rural Water Emergency Assistance Cooperative (RWEAC) is a program provided by the Texas Rural Water Association to help small and rural water/wastewater systems in Texas in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or other emergency situations. As small and rural utilities may not be the top priority when state and federal emergency response efforts are mobilized, RWEAC is available to help bridge the gap when personnel, equipment and other materials are needed to help protect the health and welfare of your communities and customers.
During an emergency, RWEAC will utilize trained first responders, including TRWA staff and a team of volunteers, who will coordinate resources and help you get your system up and running. RWEAC first responders will make a personal on-site visit to your utility, help assess the damage and assist you in locating the equipment, manpower and supplies you need to start pumping water again. The RWEAC network will match utilities needing assistance with those offering assistance. First priority will be given to helping small rural water systems.
This program is funded by TRWA and from cash donations made by water utilities and individuals to the TRWA Disaster Relief Fund.
RWEAC at a Glance
- No membership fee
- Participation is voluntary
- Access to a network of manpower, equipment and supplies that are available to your utility in the event of a disaster or other emergency
- On-site technical assistance—RWEAC will dispatch a team of first responders to your utility in the event of a disaster to help you coordinate and manage resources
- Priority is given to small rural utilities
- No obligation to respond to a disaster
- You do not need to be a member of TRWA to be a member of RWEAC
Frequently Asked Questions
How does my utility participate?
How does my utility get assistance during an emergency?
How may my utility provide assistance during an emergency?
What types of resources are needed?
Will my utility be reimbursed for the use of any resources loaned to RWEAC during a disaster?
Will RWEAC help in disasters other than hurricanes?
How do I sign up?
Participation in RWEAC is voluntary and membership is free. To participate as a member of the RWEAC network, your water/wastewater utility will need to sign a Mutual Aid Agreement to help identify the available resources you are willing to share with the network and outline the process of giving and receiving RWEAC assistance. Having the agreement in place prior to an emergency event will help expedite the response time for all participants. Signing the agreement does not obligate your utility to respond. Click here for the online application and to read the mutual aid agreement.
In order to be eligible to receive assistance, a utility is required to execute a Mutual Aid Agreement with RWEAC.
Any water/wastewater utility in Texas can request emergency assistance from RWEAC by calling 1-866-586-6480, a toll free hotline that is staffed 24/7.
Assistance may be in the form of:
- Heavy equipment (portable generators, backhoes, etc.)
- Supplies (pipes, valves, hydrants, fittings, etc.)
- Trained first responders, including TRWA staff and a team of volunteers
During an emergency, RWEAC will match the equipment, manpower and other resources needed with those available within the RWEAC network. RWEAC will coordinate and manage all disaster relief efforts for the donor utility and those utilities needing assistance. This includes working with the appropriate local, state and federal agencies if necessary.
Any type of assistance, large or small, can make the difference for a utility facing a disaster. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, RWEAC staff will activate a command center in Austin to coordinate the movement of equipment, supplies, food, bottled water and manpower from the donor utility to the utility needing assistance. As a donor utility, you will have the option to determine the degree of participation and level of expense you are willing to incur prior to your commitment to providing assistance. If at any time you need to recall your equipment or crews, you may do so. RWEAC will coordinate all the pick up and delivery details for you.
- Heavy equipment
- Food & bottled water
In some cases, FEMA may provide reimbursement for equipment, fuel and personnel used in a disaster, but this will vary according to the severity of the disaster, the extent of the damage and other factors.
Yes, RWEAC will help all parts of the state impacted by a disaster. If your system needs emergency assistance in the event of a flood, tornado, ice storm, fire or any other man-made or natural disaster, RWEAC will respond.
Signing up is easy! Complete your application, Mutual Aid Agreement and resource survey online by clicking here!
You may also contact TRWA at (512) 472-8591 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy.
Once your application is complete, we will send you a welcome packet and set your utility up in the RWEAC network.
Periodically, we will contact you to make sure the information and resources you listed are updated.