U.S. Water News Online
SAN ANTONIO — Texas should take the lead in converting
seawater to freshwater by building the nation's first big coastal
desalination plant, Gov. Rick Perry said.
Perry, addressing the American Membrane Technology Association,
said the state's water supply is in good shape, but future population
growth, economic development and fickle weather will require Texas to
find new and reliable supplies.
"The question to me is not, 'Are we going to use salt water as a
source of potable water in the state of Texas?"' Perry said. "My
question is, 'When and where is it going to occur?"'
The trade group comprises companies that develop technologies for
treating water and wastewater.
In 2002 Perry began pushing for testing of the idea of large-scale
water desalination along the Gulf of Mexico. Experimental projects
are in their early phases in Corpus Christi, Freeport and
Texas already has dozens of inland desalination units that can
process up to 40 million gallons of brackish water per day into
usable water for industry and municipalities, according to the Texas
Water Development Board's Web site.
A state water plan issued in 2002 states that hundreds of
communities in Texas could face water shortages in the next 50 years
unless demand is cut or new sources found.
"Why wait until the need is the greatest?" Perry told the trade
group. "Now is the time to be addressing all of these issues."
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