Texas water industry veteran Ed Archuleta has won the Texas Desalination Pioneer Award for his "early vision of desalinated water for El Paso, Texas, and for bringing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant online in 2007".

“If it weren’t for Ed Archuleta, the El Paso desalination plant would not have happened. It really should be named after him. Ed is truly a pioneer in innovative water technology for Texas and the world,” said senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The Texas Desalination Association presented the award at its fourth annual conference on October 1, 2016, although Archuleta was unable to attend. At the same time, it named Malynda Cappella, who is studying for a PhD in civil engineering at University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), as the first recipient of the new Ed Archuleta Desalter Scholarship Fund. 

Archuleta’s career in water and wastewater spans 48 years, including serving as deputy director of public works for Albuquerque, and as president and chief executive of El Paso Water Utilities. He continues to lead the next generation of water engineers as director of water initiatives at UTEP.