CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi City Council took the first step on whether to accept the first $12 million of a $222 million loan to be used for a desalination plant along the city's Inner Harbor.
But what is desalination and why do we need it?
Coastal Bend drought conditions from 2010-2013 forced Corpus Christi to begin looking at alternatives for future water supplies.
In 2014, a multi-disciplinary group advised the city that seawater desalination was the best route for water supply needs.
Desalination is the removal of dissolved salts from seawater. The process turns water that is unusable and makes it safe for human consumption, irrigation and industrial uses, among other uses.
The process can be quite expensive and is typically considered only an option where fresh water isn't in great supply.
But the process poses environmental concerns.
Brine, which is the discharge of the process and not properly diluted, can harm sea life and underwater vegetation.
For every gallon of fresh water created, a gallon and a half of brine is created during desalination.