Desalination pilot-study funding approved for Corpus Christi

A further step towards a future seawater desalination plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, was taken on 22 April 2014, when the city council approved funding for a pilot study to be undertaken by Freese & Nichols Inc.

The consultant had previously assisted the city in obtaining a Bureau of Reclamation grant of US$ 400,000 towards the study, added to which the city has now approved additional funding of US$ 1,080,735.

Originally foreseen as being realised in the 2040-2060 time period, recent droughts have brought the proposed 25 MGD (95,000 m³/d) desalination plant more into focus. It has been visualised as the centrepiece of an alternative strategy for the regional water plan for the Coastal Bend Regional Water Planning Group.

FNI will now provide four technical memoranda that will be completed in a period of six months leading up to the implementation of the pilot study. The first two will focus on desalination technologies and pilot-plant siting, while the latter two will look at the development of requirements and protocols for future work.

“We’re bullish on desal; we’re racing ahead of the pack,” said council member Mark Scott at the 22 April meeting. “We’re committed to getting this study done, so we know what it’s going to cost and where we should build it.”

“I think that we proved to ourselves the value of making sure that we have our next, or our next after next, water source prepped and ready to go as much as possible before we need it,” added council member David Loeb.