Wednesday, September 02, 2015

UTSA to manage water desalination study for Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority

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(June 4, 2013) -- Officials with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) and its partners, the General Land Office and UTSA, named a team led by MWH Global as the preferred finalist to conduct a feasibility assessment study for developing ocean water desalination as a regional water supply. The project includes the option of co-located power-generation facilities.

"This isn't just a study -- this is the kind of long-term thinking that will meet the needs of South Texans for generations," said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. "This effort will be an important step in meeting the water and power needs of South Texas through the year 2060."

The Texas General Land Office agreed to partner with GBRA and will contribute toward funding the study.

"This feasibility study will have to consider and evaluate many factors, such as plant location, most effective and efficient water conveyance system, fuel source, safe brine disposal and other environmental issues, economic issues and construction timelines," said James L. Murphy, GBRA executive manager for water resources and utility operations.

Gary Asbury, GBRA manager of project engineering, anticipates the feasibility study could take up to 20 months to complete.

"While we will have to wait to see what the feasibility study determines, it is anticipated that the fully expanded project could yield up to 250 million gallons per day of desalinated water to serve the region," Asbury said. He anticipates that water could supply about 350,000 households per year.

In order to develop the RFQ for this project, GBRA consulted with Les Shephard, director of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and the UTSA Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Engineering.

Shephard will serve as client project manager for the overall project, which he believes could potentially generate as much as 3,000 megawatts of electricity at full capacity to help mitigate impacts from growing power needs across Texas. Already, power officials are predicting potential power brown-outs across the state in the face of prolonged triple-digit temperatures that could hit this summer.

Now that the finalist has been selected, project representatives will begin contract negotiations with MWH to reach an agreement on costs, timeframes and other parameters of the project.

"Once the feasibility study has been completed, bringing [the] actual [project] to fruition could be one of the most important infrastructure projects undertaken in the continental United States," said William West Jr., GBRA general manager. "Outside of the Middle East, there is one in Singapore. A desalination plant located in Carlsbad, Calif., just north of San Diego, is located adjacent to a power plant, but it is designed specifically to generate desalinated water."

>> To learn more about the feasibility study, contact the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at 210-458-7970.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
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