Desalination Facts

  • Texas currently has an estimated total municipal desalination capacity of about 123 million gallons per day (about 137,760 acre-feet per year) which includes 73 million gallons per day (about 81,760 acre-feet per year) of brackish groundwater desalination and 50 million gallons per day (about 56,000 acre-feet per year) of brackish surface water desalination. (Source: TWDB Desalination Plant Database, 2012)
  • In addition to municipal desalination, industrial desalination capacity in the state is estimated to be about 60 to 100 million gallons per day (about 67,000 to 112,000 acre-feet per year) mainly in the power and semi-conductor industries. (Source: TWDB, 2005)
  • The largest inland municipal desalination plant in Texas, the Kay Bailey Hutchison desalination plant in El Paso, has a design capacity of approximately 27.5 million gallons per day (30,800 acre-feet per year) and went into production in August 2007.
  • Texas does not yet have a seawater desalination plant. However, on May 14, 2011, voters in Laguna Madre Water District approved a bond proposition to build a 1-million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination plant on South Padre Island.
  • The average cost to produce 1 acre-foot of desalinated water from brackish groundwater ranges from approximately $357 to $782 (Source: Cost of Brackish Groundwater Desalination in Texas, 276 KB).
  • The average cost to produce 1 acre-foot of desalinated water from seawater is projected to range from approximately $800 to about $1,400 (Source: 2007 State Water Plan, 4.54 MB).