Membership & Outreach – AWBD’s Ambassadors Program

DeBra was terrified. This was her first AWBD Conference. After walking into the exhibit hall, feeling overwhelmed and out of place, DeBra went back to her hotel room. Her husband did not understand. DeBra is an outgoing, confident person. What could be so scary?

Four years later, DeBra Edwards walked up to the lectern, welcomed a room full of new AWBD members to a special breakfast, and introduced herself as AWBD’s first Ambassador.

AWBD prides itself on being a welcoming organization for all its members. Most AWBD members have been going to conference for years. Many of us had directors, consultants, and friends that showed us the ropes. When Debra suggested to AWBD’s Membership Committee that the organization offer new members some ways to feel more welcome, Mem-bership Committee Chair Rick Ellis listened up.

After DeBra joined, AWBD started a new members breakfast and introduced a “pink ribbon” for new members, to make sure that AWBD’s new members felt welcome. While the breakfast and ribbon were a good start, Debra and Rick felt like they could and should do more. DeBra suggested pairing new directors with experienced mentors.

Rick is Vice President at the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, so making members feel welcome is part of his job description. Rick had just help established AWBD’s Membership and Outreach Committee, chaired by Wendy Duncan, President of Willow Fork Drainage District and a communications consultant, who also works to make people feel welcome. DeBra, Rick, and Wendy worked with AWBD staff to develop an AWBD Ambassadors program—a titled borrowed from the Katy Chamber—to make sure that everyone who attends AWBD Conference walks in knowing someone who will help show them the ropes—not just at AWBD, but in their roles at . And not just any someone, but someone who knows and cares about AWBD and districts.

Led by Wendy and DeBra, AWBD has a great first class of Ambassadors:

  • Ms. Sabrina Alaquinez, Fort Bend Co MUD 218
  • Mr. Brandyn Cottingham, Fort Bend Co MUD 24
  • Ms. Wendy Duncan, Touchstone District Services
  • Ms. DeBra Edwards, Harris Co MUD 501
  • Mr. Craig Kalkomey, LJA Engineering, Inc.
  • Ms. Brenda Landin, TNG Utility Corporation
  • Ms. Jennifer Smith-Hicks, Accurate Meter & Supply
  • Mr. Harry Thompson, Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP

If you would like to join the ranks of AWBD’s Ambassador Program, or a new member seeking an Ambassador, please email Irma Valdez. We are accepting applications.

Smart Meter / EyeOnWater

Smart Meters

The Harris County MUD 501 Board recently completed the replacement of all water meters in the District with new ultrasonic smart meters. These meters will allow customers to monitor their water consumption on a daily basis through the Eye On Water website portal or mobile app, which may assist you with the detection of waters leaks and understanding how much water is used during irrigation and with other heavy water use activities.

Getting Started

In order to access the new smart meter tools, you first need to create a new Eye On Water account and register your smart meter. Visit to access the online portal or to download the mobile app. When creating the account, you will need your zip code and water service account number exactly as shown on your water bill.

Using Eye On Water

The Eye On Water portal and mobile app can help you review your water usage on a daily basis, assist with the detection of water leaks, and even allow you to set up automated leak detection alerts. For more information on viewing your water usage and setting up leak alerts, please view the videos below.

Need Assistance?

If you have any further questions or need assistance regarding your new smart meter or the Eye On Water website portal or mobile app, please contact the MUD 501 operator, Environmental Development Partners, at (832) 467-1599.

Wildlife Management in Harris County MUD 500 Lakes

On August 30, 2021, MUD 500 received a report that an alligator was sighted in the far northern portion of MUD 500’s lakes, along Cypress North Houston Road near the intersection with Greenhouse Road. MUD 500 obtained a nuisance control permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (required by State law to remove an alligator) and requested that its contractor search for and remove any alligator that might be present in its lakes.

This morning, MUD 500’s contractor caught and removed a 4’ 6” female alligator in the same location. MUD 500’s contractor will continue to monitor the lakes for any evidence of additional alligators and take steps to remove them if any are found.

MUD 500 requests that residents report any sightings of alligators to its operator, Environmental Development Partners, at (832) 467-1599. MUD 500 encourages your district to share this information with your residents. Please visit MUD 500’s website, at, for additional information.

Harris County Municipal Utility District 501

Through HCMUD 501’s website you can easily find links to the following services:

Tax Rate

Information about the District required by Section 26.18, Texas Tax Code, created by Senate Bill 2 (also known as the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019), is available here:

For the 2020 tax year, Harris County MUD 501 levied a total ad valorem tax of $1.06 on each $100 of taxable property within Harris County MUD 501 consisting of the following three components:

  • $0.785 to pay the District’s contract tax
  • $0.25 to pay the District’s debt service
  • $0.025 to fund the District’s maintenance and operation expenditures