State Loan Sought for Planning Seawater Desalination Effort

February 23, 2017  

The City of Corpus Christi and the San Patricio Municipal Water District have jointly submitted a pre-application to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for funding from the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program.  If this pre-application is approved by TWBD, then a full application for funding would need to be prepared and submitted this summer.

The requested funding, in the form of a loan with favorable terms and conditions, would be used to take the next step in potential employment of seawater desalination as a water resource for our region.  Seawater desalination is a recommended water management strategy in the current State of Texas Water Plan as well as the Region N Water Plan covering our region. Projects that are recommended in the State Water Plan are eligible to receive state funding through the SWIFT program.  

The $2.75 million application for SWIFT funding includes prerequisite planning, organizational development activities, and necessary pre-design elements needed to establish a foundation for future engineering design, permitting, procurement, and implementation of a full-scale seawater desalination facility.    This effort will build on initial feasibility work that has been undertaken locally and funded by the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Port of Corpus Christi, the Port Industries of Corpus Christi along with other industrial partners, and the City of Corpus Christi. 

The San Patricio Municipal Water District and the City of Corpus Christi participated in this initial local process, and the work of this local group continues.  The SWIFT process requires a governmental entity or nonprofit water supply corporation apply for funding from the program.

This region has a successful history of securing water resources to accommodate future needs as evidenced by the coordinated effort to secure long-term water supplies from Lake Texana and water rights in the Lower Colorado River and to construct pipelines to transport water from those sources via the Mary Rhodes Phase I and II pipelines.  

The Water District and the City are pleased to continue working with industrial and economic development partners on this new effort which will lead to use of desalinated seawater as a future water supply for our region.

Link to SWIFT Program: