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Things get salty at desalination plant briefing before city council

Things get salty at desalination plant briefing before city council
Posted at 10:35 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 23:35:43-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Things got salty at the Corpus Christi City Council meeting Tuesday night when the topic of proposed desalination plants came up.

Port of Corpus Christi leaders were scheduled to give the council a long-awaited briefing on the status of those plants that would remove salt from seawater for use at homes, businesses, and industries.

Council members were quick to criticize the port for poor communication.

“We want to see (the port's) cooperation with the City of Corpus Christi as we go forward through the permitting process for 'desal' plants (and) the construction of 'desal' plants," council member at-large Mike Pusley said. "I think it's vitally important to this community.”

Pusley also expressed concerns about how expensive it would reportedly be to build a 'desal' plant on Harbor Island like the port wants to.

The port is working to secure permits to build that plant in Nueces County and a similar facility along the La Quinta Channel in San Patricio County.

Both the port and the city agree that desalination plants could be the solution to increased water needs in the future because of drought and population growth.

Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge says today's, at times, intense discussion is part of the process.

“This is that public discourse that we all need to engage in to ensure the trust of the community that the city and the port are going to deliver that uninterruptible supply of water that we so badly need,” Strawbridge said.

The port commission issued a directive to port staff members on Monday to, before the commission's next meeting on March 16, work with city staffers to come up with a plan to make 'desal' plants a reality.