Corpus Christi to seek water board assistance with desalination plant
The Corpus Christi City Council authorized staff to apply for $222.48 million in financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for the construction of a seawater desalination plant.
Seawater desalination plan illustration
TWDB officials included the city’s desalination plant project in the 2020 State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).
The water board also invited Corpus Christi and other municipalities to submit full applications by May 11. Abridged applications were due February 3.
If approved, the city would apply the TWDB funds to the procurement, design, and construction costs for its proposed seawater desalination plant on the Inner Harbor Ship Channel.
Corpus Christi also has submitted permits to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for water discharge permits and water rights on the Inner Harbor Ship Channel and a possible future plant on the La Quinta Channel.
TCEQ is taking public comments on the permit application. The discharge permit on the application for the Inner Harbor facility is expected to be declared administratively complete in the near future. Both sites would produce public drinking water for the region.
The envisioned plants will use reverse osmosis technology with diffusers at the outfall. Intake of source water and outfall of concentrate will be from the two channels. Dewatered residual solids will be disposed at the city’s regional landfill. The plants would be designed to allow for future expansion with environmental and operational factors considered in terms of the ultimate size.
Production capacity at the Inner Harbor Desalination Plant would be an initial 10 million gallons per day (MGD) that would increase to 20 MGD with expansions to reach 30 MGD ultimately.
The La Quinta plant would begin operations at 20M GD and increase production capacity to 30 MGD through expansion and 40 MGD in ultimate capacity.