With Texas experiencing an ongoing drought and a rapidly growing population, planning for the state’s long-term water needs has become a top policy priority. Among the approaches called for in the most recent state water plan is more reliance on desalination technologies to produce potable water from both brackish and marine sources. Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater or brackish water.
The abundance of brackish groundwater in Texas has water planners looking to desalination to produce more potable water and to free the existing fresh water supply for stream flow and other uses. The large-scale implementation of desalination from both brackish groundwater and seawater remains constrained by high cost and energy consumption and, in the case of seawater desalination, the need to transport treated water across the state. Some observers say changes to the state’s regulatory and permitting process are needed to facilitate the growth of desalination.
Read more about desalination in Texas in the House Research Organization’s interim news article, Texas eyes desalination as option to increase state’s water supply.