Processing Magazine

Texas to launch desalination study

May 22, 2014
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Texas recently announced that it was launching a study on desalination, with State Rep. Todd Hunter appointed to lead the project. The news came straight from the office of Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, which is a clear sign that desalination is among the key options being considered by state lawmakers to fight the drought.

Water supply and conservation have always been a high priority for Texas but they have become a matter of critical importance lately. While desalination seems to be a viable option, at least at first glance, most experts believe that it should not be the sole solution. Desalination is linked to high consumption of energy and unless the use of renewable sources of energy is promoted and developed the state could soon be facing other environmental concerns, the Environmental Defense Fund says.

There are currently 44 desalination facilities operating in Texas, according to the state's Water Development Board. The majority of them treat salty groundwater and turn it into fresh water for municipal supplies. But desalinating seawater has not been tried yet. It is not only expensive and hard to get approval for, but it is also associated with a number of environmental concerns. That is why the decision on whether desalination should become the key weapon in the state's battle against drought should only be taken after in-depth analysis and consideration, the Environmental Defense Fund commented.