Regional Brackish Groundwater Desalination (BGD) Systems Deemed Best Option To Resolve Mounting Water Shortages in Lower Rio Grande Valley
A two-year study by the RGRWA & U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recommends building three regional BGD systems in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties to produce 93,000 acre-feet of water per year (AF/yr) at a total cost of $494 million.
Such action is necessary, says the study, to alleviate shortfalls caused by drought, reduced inflows from Mexico into the Rio Grande, population growth, and the impacts of climate change. The 2011 Rio Grande Regional Water Plan – which addresses long-term water supplies and needs – projected that population in Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo, Starr, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Webb, and Maverick counties will grow from 1.7 million in 2010 to 4 million in 2060 and that water supply shortages will reach a staggering 592,084 AF/yr.
But the supply shortfall projected in the 2011 plan will actually be worse because of the impacts of climate change, according to the recently completed RGRWA and Reclamation basin study, which projects the deficit will grow by 86,438 AF/yr to 678,522 AF/yr.
Click here for details on the study, completed December 2013.
The Rio Grande Regional Water Authority exists to help plan for and develop sustainable sources of water for the Rio Grande basin in Texas — including water conservation strategies, irrigation district efficiencies, and new fresh water supplies made available by proven technologies. RGRWA addresses the projections for Valley population growth, acknowledges the importance of our Valley agriculture economy, and identifies viable water supply projects for the future. Read More
Please use this website to stay informed about water supply in the Rio Grande Valley—to follow the studies, plans and development of projects—and to get involved. You can help grow water in the Valley—for the river, for the future.