(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.