From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (
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Bureau Seminar, April 9, 2004

Desalination in Texas: What's Next?

Jean-Philippe Nicot


The population of Texas is expected to almost double over the next 50 years. This growth will put stress on the current mix of water resources, such as rivers, lakes, and fresh water aquifers. If no additional resources are added, water demand will be locally unmet in the future. Recent news headlines across Texas have showed that the battle for water has intensified. To help alleviate the stress on conventional resources - especially during drought times - the State of Texas is making a big push for desalination. Desalination technologies are mature, already in use in many countries across the globe and can be applied to any water type. Sources can be as diverse as slightly brackish waters, sea water, and oilfield produced waters. Today, the single most challenging issue facing desalination is what to do with the waste. During the desalination process, as fresh water is produced from more saline water, a fraction of the latter is enriched in ions and becomes more saline than the source water. The issues surrounding the fate of the concentrate can only grow as the number of plants grows. This seminar will take you on a tour of what is currently done in Texas to promote desalination.

Presentation in PDF format