The city of Corpus Christi, on the southern coast of Texas, has been looking into alternative sources of water it may turn to during periods of drought, such as the one that hit the southern United States and particularly hard the Lone Star State from 2011 to 2013, reports the Corpus Christi Caller Times.
Currently, a feasibility study with a project budget of $2.75 million, funded through a loan form the Texas Water Development Board, is underway to examine different possibilities. Alternative water sources could include desalination, as well as groundwater, aquifer storage and recovery and water reuse.
In Texas there are some 40 public water supply plants in operation that desalinate brackish water. Now the city of Corpus Christi is contemplating building the first seawater desalination plant in the state. The city is contemplating potential sites to locate the plant.
Last month City Council members received an update on the ongoing work to diversify the water supply, and Frank Bogan, the consultant advising the city in this regard, will be addressing the council later this month. Steven Ramos, water resource manager for the city, has said soon they will have recommendations for potential locations for a desalination plant, and the next step will be to apply for water right permits and discharge permits. ‘The major milestone still to be determined is the financial (aspect), a formal request for proposals and awarding of a contract’ he commented.
According to municipal authorities, the project may involve two potable water plants, at a cost of $150 million per plant. Each plant would have a production capacity of 10 million gallons per day (about 37,800 m3). Concerning project funding, officials are considering seeking it from the state or other sources.
Mayor Joe McComb is in favour of desalination as an alternate source of water, and has voiced his hope that in the future Corpus Christi may be able to export water across the state.