Less salty than the sea, brackish water is poised for wider use in Texas
Forty-six desalination plants in Texas turn salty water drinkable. None, however, is located on the coast. All are inland and use brackish water.
As fresh water grows scarcer, the hunt for new supplies is expanding outward, to sources formerly on the margin. Brackish water, less salty than the sea but still too salty to drink, is the latest target. With abundant brackish groundwater resources, Texas is a national leader in the use and study of this emerging resource.
Texas’s fleet of desalination plants will grow in 2016. In October, San Antonio will open the first phase of what will be the world’s largest inland desalination when all three phases are completed in 2022.
The graphic below shows the location and capacity of the brackish water desalination plants in Texas and whether they use groundwater or surface water.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton