Adrian Shinwell, president of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Association, last week spoke out in favour of guaranteeing council members a role on the three proposed water quangos.
These should be nominated by councils themselves rather than by the secretary of state, he suggested.
This formal arrangement would go some way to reducing the anticipated damage the issue is expected to cause the government in next month's local elections, he said.
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservative Party confirmed Mr Shindwell felt 'quite strongly' that the new public authorities needed to have a visible proportion of elected members on their boards.
'His role is clearly to pass on the views of the party to ministers', he said.