CO2 Sequestration

Coastal Studies


Energy and Environment

Geologic Mapping

Groundwater Contaminants

Groundwater Resources

Near-Surface Geophysics

Remote Sensing:
Lidar and Imagery

Vadose Zone



Research Programs

Industrial Associates

Fossil Energy

Worldwide Research


Desalination of both seawater and brackish waters has been made a top priority in the State of Texas to satisfy the water needs of a growing population. Several large-scale demonstration seawater desalination projects are currently under development.

Desalination of brackish waters is more suited to inland locations, such as in the western half of the sate, but also feasible along the coast. The Bureau has capabilities to address the first step by its knowledge of the state hydrogeology. Desalination work at the Bureau includes characterizing the water supply, particularly in geochemical terms, looking at compatibility issues in the in-situ mixing of water of different origins (range of composition in concentrate and formation water), and determining the global suitability of a saline formation to accept desalination concentrates. The Bureau is also well-suited to examine the deep-well injection disposal method since its experience in CO2 sequestration is easily transferable.

Presentation in PDF format: "Desalination in Texas: What's Next?"

Link to Websites
Texas Water Development Board
United States Bureau of Reclamation

Current Studies

Self-sealing Evaporation Ponds [Description]

Development of Science-Based Permitting Guidance for Geological Sequestration of CO2 in Deep Saline Aquifers Based on Modeling and Risk Assessment [Description]

Development of a Database for Desalination Facilities in Texas
[Project Description]

Please Pass the Salt: Using Oil Fields for the Disposal of Concentrate From Desalination Plants [Project Description and Results]