Patterson’s office plans to announce today that it has contracted with two water consulting firms to examine the feasibility of building a desalination plant between Austin and New Braunfels on land the General Land Office owns.
Desalination is an expensive, energy-intensive technique of making brackish underground water potable. Patterson’s plan — a first for the General Land Office, which manages Texas’ land and natural resources — would involve hoisting brackish water up at least 1,400 feet, from below a layer of underground freshwater.
“We want to do something scalable and deployable,” said Patterson, who said he is looking at placing a desalination facility either just west of Kyle or just north of New Braunfels. “This is one of the elements of solving Texas’ water problem.”