Texas opens public hearings on desalination
The US state of Texas has begun a series of public hearings on desalination costs and benefits that will inform the drafting of new laws next year.Republican representative for Lubbock, Charles Perry said the public hearings should also educate the public about the critical role for desalination in helping the state meet its future water needs.
"That is the key," Perry said. "We've got to start the (public) education that desalination is not that expensive, that it is a key component of the water supply in Texas."
"We've got water around us and under us," Perry said. "Desalination of brackish water is the key for West Texas because we are sitting on top of a Permian Basin ocean water and they can desalinate for as cheap as what we're paying for water in Lubbock, Texas, right now."
Republican representative for the city of San Antonio, Lyle Larson a water expert at the University of Texas said the estimated 5,000 trillion litres saltwater available in Texas from its 540km of coastline provided, "so much growth opportunity," for desalination.
Larson said the state needed to invest in desalination plants, like Florida has, to meet its future water needs.
The Texas population is projected to grow from 26 million this year to 40 million by 2060. To prepare for such projected growth, in last year's session state lawmakers approved a bill that, with subsequent voter approval in this autumn, will allow the legislature to withdraw $2 billion from contingency reserves to begin funding a $53 billion, 50-year water plan.
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