FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2014
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) was appointed to the Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced today (Thursday). The Committee was created pursuant to legislation passed by Senator Lucio in the Texas Senate.
The desalination process removed salt from either brackish or saltwater for use by businesses and homes.
"I am honored by today's appointment. Coming off a year in which the voters overwhelmingly approved committing state funds to local water infrastructure projects, immediate study of responsible water use technology is vitally important. Creation of this Committee shows again that Texas is serious about looking for innovative ways to meet the state's growing water demands," Senator Lucio said. "In Cameron County we already have excellent models for both brackish and saltwater desalination. Other Texas cities, such as El Paso and San Antonio, have also employed desalination operations. It's time we look to these models, as well as models in other parts of the world, and identify best practices that can be applied across the state."
The Brownsville Public Utilities Board in Cameron County, located in Senator Lucio's district, has operated a brackish water desalination plant since 2003. The Port of Brownsville has recently begun a seawater desalination pilot program.
Creation of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination follows passage of House Concurrent Resolution 59, which was sponsored by Senator Lucio during the 83rd Legislative Session last year. The resolution, authored by Representative Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi), calls upon the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives to create a joint interim committee to study water desalination in Texas.
The remaining Senate members of the Committee are Chairman Senator Craig Estes (Wichita Falls) and Senators Troy Fraser (Marble Falls), Glenn Hegar (Katy), and Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (McAllen).
Speaker of the House Joe Strauss (San Antonio) has not yet appointed House members to the Committee.