NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Desalinizing Water in Texas

August 28, 2014

A plan to desalinize brackish water could provide an answer to Texas' water problems, according to William McKenzie, editorial director at the George W. Bush Institute.

Texas' population continues to grow, but the state has suffered recurring droughts. Desalination poses a potential answer to a water resource problem, though it can be expensive. Desalination takes brackish water and seawater and cleans it, removing the salt and turning it into water that can be used for irrigation and for drinking water. Desalination is not an entirely new idea in Texas:

  • In the Western part of Texas, the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Desalination Plant supplies El Paso and Fort Bliss with fresh water.
  • Craig Pederson, formerly of the Texas Water Development Board, is working to create a private sector solution to the problem, desalinizing brackish water and selling the minerals that are extracted on the commodities market.

According to McKenzie, desalination could be especially significant in Texas because of its relationship with fracking, as fracking produces wastewater. If that water can be recycled, it can be reused and can keep water supplies steady.

NCPA Senior Research Fellow Lloyd Bentsen recently wrote about this topic on the NCPA's Energy and Environment Blog.

Source: William McKenzie, "Hope on the water front," Dallas Morning News, August 25, 2014. 

 

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