Hello, and thanks for visiting the new Trinity River Authority of Texas (TRA) website! I am going to be your tour guide of sorts. I won’t cover the full landscape because I want you to visit often and scroll through on your own. My friends call me TRAvis. I was named after the organization that I love.

The site used to be an old rust bucket of a website with missing and poorly connected parts. Now, it’s new!

The fixers, as I call them, kept some of the old parts, especially the ones labeled MADE IN TEXAS! Everything was getting rusty (the kind of rust that’s in flaky layers), uncooperative, hard to move, and super slow; plus, every time I tried to look at the site on a smartphone or tablet, it looked awful. Between you and me, the site was past due for a makeover—it had been more than 10 years!

Now, visitors are welcomed by beautiful, engaging images that move at just the right speed and don’t get in the way of the experience. They are meant to enhance your visit rather than being a scrolling billboard. The meat, if you will, is in the website itself.

Let’s begin our journey, shall we? In a compact package, we introduce visitors to the stories and images behind TRA and what it does — the new website all meant to engage and inform. The organization is customized when it comes to its customers and universal in its business focus. Scroll down to the second section for just a moment. The title reads Clean Water for a Healthy Environment. Now that is TRAnsformative. Without water, life withers, and without clean, drinkable, usable water, you get no farms, no cities, no nothing.

Moving on from that section, I want to point out the bottom footer area, a quick-link stop that includes an Engage section flanked by an Explore section. Under Engage, go to Educational Resources. Notice how you can almost hear the scraping of the wooden pieces that spell out LEARN at the top of the page. Select Elementary Resources; scroll down the page; and stop at Reading Corner. You have arrived at a new feature that promotes reading while flattening the learning curve regarding one of our most valuable resources. Seven books are featured. Next, slide your mouse—or your finger if it’s a touch screen—to the Explore section. Select Resources, which is another new feature that includes interesting bits of information and useful tools. I hope that you like being transported and that you enjoy inspirational experiences. You will not be disappointed because the header on this page purposely pulls you in and takes you on a mini tour of Texas with images such as a shiny belt buckle, a field of bluebonnets, galloping horses, the state flag, and so many more. The header is an enticement to stop on this page every time you visit the site. The page itself provides information that covers terminology used in TRA’s business; a brief history of water quality, maps, reports, studies, infographics; tips for conserving water indoors and outdoors; a list of other river authorities and water districts and much more. I want you to take your time when visiting this page and come back often as new resources are added.

You probably want to ask, “Hey, TRAvis, what is our next stop?”

There’s only one last homepage feature to see, and then we move on to the customary stuff.

That feature, my welcome visitor, is the white box with the enchanting white waves and the word SUBSCRIBE embedded on its right side. Go ahead, subscribe to the newsletter. The newsletter will be a monthly mix of information about people, places, processes, and projects. It will broaden your knowledge base about the water and wastewater projects that keep water flowing and reclaim it for use again. It includes insight into the people and processes that are essential to getting the job done.

Next, scroll to the top of the homepage, where you will see About Us, Services, Basin Planning, Recreation, and Lake Information. Within that same frame, all above Clean Water for a Healthy Environment, there is a lot to glean, but if you recall, I will not cover the full landscape.

I will, however, recommend that you take a deep dive into the leadership, mission, vision, and strategic plan tabs under About Us. Of note is the fact that the governor appoints TRA’s board of directors and that the organization’s 25-member board is the largest such body in the state. I also need to point out how important it is to look under the Services heading. While wastewater and water treatment are not standard cocktail party conversation topics, I dare say that a clever conversationalist can find a couple of nuggets here for a few what-if questions and some conversation starters. I might just blurt out that TRA is the largest wholesale provider of wastewater treatment services in Texas. Not to mention, the organization’s main business lines are as essential as the air that we breathe. Yes, I breathe. Really.

As for Basin Planning, Recreation, Lake Information, Financial Information, News Center, Construction Projects, and Doing Business with TRA, you are free to discover these engaging topics on your own.

Two final features to bring your attention to are the Community Outreach section on the footer and the Diversity and Inclusion section under About Us. As an organization, although it may sound like hogwash to say, “We Care.” Still, it is more than a start when you look at the effort TRA puts into engagement, especially with the next generation of leaders, scientists, chemists, water treatment plant operators, and others. Our commitment to the communities we serve runs parallel with Diversity and Inclusion.

The new website will change regularly with the addition of information in all areas and the addition of new areas. Not only is it new, but I hope you agree that it is updated. It’s pictorial, informational, and well worth your time.

Don’t tell me now, but I will come back to ask for tips on improvement and to find out how you like TRA’s new website, TRAvis.