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A Glimpse of the Future? Local Officials Tour Major Desalination Plant Today

 

  Mayor Castro and officials from the San Antonio Water System travel to El Paso today, to get a glimpse of what may be the water future not just for this region, but for the entire state, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  Officials will tour the Kay Bailey Hutchison Water Desalination Plant in El Paso, which is billed as the largest water desalination plant in the world.

 

  Anne Hayden of SAWS says removing salt from the brackish Wilcox Aquifer 1600 feet underground may be the game change in Texas' decades old water wars.

 

  "San Antonio literally sits on an ocean of brackish water, right under our feet," she said.

 

  Construction will begin in the summer on a major desalination plant in southeast Bexar County, not far from the Aquifer Storage Facility.  She says SAWS has an experimental desalination plant already in place.

 

  She says the brackish aquifer contains billions of gallons of water, it is too salty for farmers to use, it doesn't house blind salamanders or any other little critters that environmentalists will go to court to try to protect, it does not evaporate and it is under no court or regulatory use limits.

 

  Hayden says desalination could change the face of the parched Southwest forever.

 

  "This underground aquifer runs all the way through Texas, up into Oklahoma and Arkansas, and even down into Mexico," she said.

 

  The delegation today will learn about how the Hutchison Plant was built and how it works.  Hayden says the plan is for the SAWS facility to become a major part of our water picture.

 

  "Eventually in 2026, the project will deliver a total of more than 30 million gallons a year to San Antonio."

 

  She says treated salt water will start flowing through your kitchen faucet in 2016.

 

 

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