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City of Corpus Christi Awarded Water Rights Permit for Seawater Desalination

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – At a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Commissioners' meeting in Austin, the Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the City of Corpus Christi's water rights permit for a seawater desalination plant on the Inner Harbor in Corpus Christi. This is the first water rights permit in the state of Texas that will utilize seawater for desalination for municipal use.

"We are pleased with the TCEQ's decision on this project — a project that is not only important for Corpus Christi but for the region as well," said Mayor Paulette Guajardo. "The City of Corpus Christi is the water planner and supplier for 500,000 people across seven counties in the Coastal Bend, and we are committed to providing a water source that is drought-proof and affordable."

"This is a step forward for the city's desalination project, but there is much more work to be done. Our goal remains the same: to provide the community and region with a drought-proof water source," City Manager Peter Zanoni said.

The TCEQ received the city's water rights permit application for Inner Harbor in January 2020 and issued public notice of the application in October 2020. In March 2021, TCEQ hosted a public meeting on the water rights draft permit. The discharge application for Inner Harbor remains in review with TCEQ.

The city's other seawater desalination permit applications for water rights and discharge for a facility on the La Quinta Channel are also in review with TCEQ.
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