(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.
The UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a day full of outreach events and activities by the U.S. Navy as part of a larger Navy presence in San Antonio called Navy Week with various events in the community through Feb. 25.
Student Union Paseo and Convocation Center entrance, Main Campus
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
Registration is open now for this family-friendly and dog-friendly run that supports the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship fund.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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