Further funding for San Antonio BWRO desalination project

Initial project construction for the brackish groundwater desalination program planned by San Antonio Water System (SAWS) in the USA will now be possible following a US$ 24.6 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

SAWS brackish desalination test plant.

SAWS brackish desalination test plant.

The SAWS brackish groundwater desalination program will pump brackish water and treat it to drinking water standards using a reverse-osmosis water-treatment facility. When the first phase of the program is complete, the project will produce about 10 MGD (37,850 m³/d), or 11,800 acre-feet per year (14.5 million m³/year), of water from the Wilcox Aquifer in southern Bexar County.

The loan from TWDB will help fund the initial project construction, including brackish groundwater supply wells and a brine disposal test injection well, as well as property for additional brackish groundwater production wells. In July 2009, SAWS received a $35 million loan from TWDB to help fund the initial planning and design costs for the project.

"The brackish groundwater desalination project will provide SAWS with a new source of water developed close to home that helps reduce our dependence on the Edwards Aquifer," said Chuck Ahrens, SAWS Vice-President, Water Resources & Conservation. "With financial support from the state, we can continue our successful efforts to secure diverse water sources that are affordable and sustainable for SAWS ratepayers."

The brackish groundwater desalination program is part of SAWS 2009 Water Management Plan to help diversify existing water supply and reduce dependency on the Edwards Aquifer. The 50-year plan identifies a variety of water supply programs to ensure reliable service as San Antonio continues to grow, including advancing efforts in water conservation and water recycling as well as new water supply projects such as the regional Carrizo project and brackish groundwater desalination.

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