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ABSTRACT

In Texas, the investigation and implementation of desalination began in the 1960s. The earliest operating desalination plants in Texas were in Port Mansfield (south of Corpus Christi) in 1965 and Dell City (far West Texas) in 1968. Since 1999, the number and capacity of desalination plants operating in Texas have steadily increased. In 2016, there were 49 municipal desalination plants in the state, and the total municipal desalination capacity was ~142 million gallons per day (537 million liters per day). The predominant desalination technology used today in municipal desalination plants is reverse osmosis, a membrane filtration process in which dissolved solids (salts) are removed from saline water by applying pressure and forcing the water through a semipermeable membrane. Three desalination plants are currently in operation within the Edwards-Trinity (Plateau) Aquifer boundaries, and additional desalination of brackish groundwater from the Edwards-Trinity (Plateau) and Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone) Aquifers can alleviate stress on water resources from projected population growth and lessen potential water scarcity in central Texas.

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