Consultant Insight: Desalination Summit in Corpus Christi
The future of desalination in Texas drew state officials and business leaders to Corpus Christi this past Tuesday, Aug 5. The “Desal In Black” Summit was hosted by State Rep. Todd Hunter and Bech Bruun, director of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).
I enjoyed attending the summit and speaking with those who work tirelessly every day to find solutions for the water needs of our state. While experts predict weather could get better with El Nino, all agreed that we must act now to recover from the drought. A prolonged drought could cost jobs if companies with operations that rely on water are forced to move business to other states. One presenter cautioned attendees to look to Australia’s Millennium Drought as inspiration to not wait any longer to find water. The recovery required only gets more expensive with each passing day.
While other solutions such as engineered wetlands and supply from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer were discussed, the main topic was desalination. To work, desalination must be a public-private partnership. City officials and members of the public have to be involved at every step of the process – transparency is key. Rep. Hunter is moving the desal ball forward and the TWDB is ready to help with financing for a variety of water projects. The entire state will benefit if stakeholders, both public and private, unify on an approach to bring desalination to Texas.
For more on the Desalination Summit, see this Corpus Christi Caller-Times article by Kirsten Crow: “Clear future for desal on Coastal Bend, some say”