- Texas currently has a total of 53 municipal desalination facilities that have total desalination capacity of 157 million gallons per day (176,013 acre-feet per year). Sixteen of these facilities use brackish surface water as a source of raw water, which accounts for a design capacity of 65 million gallons per day (72,443 acre-feet per year). Thirty-six facilities use brackish groundwater as a raw water source, which accounts for a design capacity of approximately 90 million gallons per day (100,769 acre-feet per year). One facility uses reclaimed water as a raw water source, which accounts for a design capacity of approximately 2.5 million gallons per day (2,800 acre-feet per year). Source: TWDB Desalination Plant Database, 2020.
- In addition, 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 for municipal purposes. M&G Resins USA, LLC partially finished the construction of an industrial seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 15 million gallons per day (6,721 acre-feet per year) but then filed bankrupt and sold.
- The average cost to produce 1 acre-foot of desalinated water from brackish groundwater ranges from approximately $357 to $782. The average cost to produce one acre-foot of desalinated water from seawater is projected to range from approximately $800 to about $1,400. Source: Cost of Brackish Groundwater Desalination in Texas.
2022 State Water Plan
- The volume of new water supplies coming from brackish groundwater, seawater, and brackish surface water desalination recommended water management strategies by 2070 is 192,000 acre-feet per year (2.5 percent of total new water supplies), 157,000 (2.0 percent), and 63,000 (0.8 percent), respectively.
- "Nine planning groups recommended groundwater desalination strategies and three recommended seawater desalination strategies. Planning groups cited the cost of desalination treatment and infrastructure, a lack of interested project sponsors, and the existing availability of non-brackish water sources as reasons for not recommending groundwater desalination strategies."
- Brackish Groundwater Desalination (211 KB)
- Seawater Desalination (171 KB)