Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2022
(SAN ANTONIO) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is continuing his Good for Texas Tour, highlighting the importance of maintaining and investing in Texas' water management infrastructure. Today, Hegar is touring San Antonio Water System’s H2Oaks Center, which houses the state’s largest aquifer storage and recovery system as well as the state’s second-largest groundwater desalination plant.
“Water planning and management in Texas are necessary to prepare for future weather events that affect water resources and to ensure enough water is available for future generations of families and businesses,” said Hegar, a member of the board of advisers for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, a critical financial assistance tool for high-cost projects. “The San Antonio Water System’s H2Oaks Center produces water from three different sources out of one location to deliver drinking water to its 2 million customers. It is one of the crucial facilities that will help the state implement successful water management strategies to meet the growing demand for this precious natural resource.”
During his Good for Texas Tour: Water Edition, Hegar is sharing the results of a new Comptroller’s office report highlighting the roles that water planning and management play in ensuring enough water is available for future generations of Texas families and businesses. He is touring a handful of key water facilities across the state, focusing on water topics such as desalination, aquifers, cloud seeding, surface water, canal systems, groundwater, flood mitigation and water reuse.
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) estimates that implementing new water infrastructure will require $80 billion in capital costs over the next 50 years, and $47 billion of that is expected to come from state financial programs. This funding is essential: TWDB says Texas’ water demands are projected to increase by about 9 percent over the next 50 years, while its existing water supplies are projected to decline by about 18 percent during that same time.
Aquifers play a major role in providing water to many parts of Texas. There are nine major aquifers and 22 minor aquifers that supply groundwater for municipal and irrigation needs throughout the state. About 55 percent of all water used in Texas was sourced through aquifers in 2019. Aquifers are vital to the state’s economy and environment, highlighting the need for their proper management and conservation.
Another strategy Texas is using to increase its water supply is desalination, the process of removing excess salts and other minerals from groundwater, surface water or reclaimed water sources to create fresh water — making otherwise unusable water suitable for human consumption, irrigation, industrial applications and other purposes.
Desalinated water is a relatively small component of the state’s water supply, but its use is growing. Texas currently has 53 municipal desalination facilities with a combined production capacity of 157 million gallons per day — more than 176,000 acre-feet per year. In addition to municipal use, desalinated water plays an important role in certain Texas industries — mainly oil and gas and semiconductors. The industrial desalination capacity in the state is estimated to be between 60 million and 100 million gallons per day.
“The future of water in Texas is the future of the Texas economy,” Hegar said. “Whether in times of drought or flood, responsible water management ensures Texans see water as a resource — not a crisis. Texans around the state are employing innovative strategies to turn our water challenges into opportunities. And that’s good for Texas.”
For more information on the tour, including social media graphics, go to the Comptroller’s website.