Local News

Mar 31, 2014 7:28 PM

Hunter to Head Key Committee to Study Desalination

CORPUS CHRISTI -Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus picked State Rep. Todd Hunter to head up a desalination study in the coming months.

It's a coveted position. Working with other lawmakers to figure out how to make desalination a reality in Texas.

But for Hunter, turning sea water, or even brackish groundwater.

"Any option is a must," Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, said.

A Texas Water Development Board study says there are 44 desalinating plants in Texas.

Most of them turn salty groundwater into fresh water for municipal supplies.

But desalinating actual seawater is a new frontier. It's expensive. It's tough to get permitted to do. There are a lot of environmental concerns.

But, Italian plastics-maker M&G is pushing to use Nueces Bay water to cool its resin-making plant instead of buying raw water from the city.

And with the city courting more industry to plant roots in the Coastal Bend, Hunter said there'd better be plenty of water to help it grow.

"With everything coming to Corpus Christi to the coastal bend from Italy, China, Austria ... we've got Schlitterbahn coming ... we've got a huge demand exposure," he told KRIS-6 on Monday "So water desalination for me, is a must for future planning."

Every bit is needed. Corpus Christi's water department planners say we'll be about 2,000 acre-feet short by 2050.

And that's using a model that flatlines both the industrial demand and annual rainfall curves.

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