Hays County supporting desalination study grant application

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Hays County Commissioners Court authorized the county judge to sign a letter Tuesday supporting a grant application to fund a feasibility study to desalinate water from the Edwards Aquifer.

The letter, which supports an application filed by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, will be sent to the executive director of the Texas Water Development Board, which will consider whether to fund the request.

Commissioners heard from the BSEACD's chief hydrogeologist Frank Smith, who told the court there are several large reserves of brackish water in parts of the reservoir that extend from Bell County to Kinney County.

Brackish water is water with more salt content than freshwater but not as much as sea water. If the water was desalinated, it could be used by people in Hays County, the commissioners said.

Smith said the BSEACD would use the grant money to determine the amount of brackish water in the aquifer and cost effectiveness of a desalination plant.

The Water Development Board grant would provide $275,000 for the study, with BSEACD providing another $260,000 as well as $25,000 of in-kind funding.


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