Innovative Demonstration Hub Launched for Brackish Desalination and Integrated Water Management, Leveraging Greater El Paso's Regional, National, and Bi - National Expertise

Category: Investment, Water

El Paso and San Antonio, TX - May 13, 2016 ( AccelerateH2O has launched the second of seven proposed regional innovative demonstration hubs to test, evaluate, and streamline next generation water technologies to reclaim and reuse resources for residential, agricultural, industrial and utility interests. The second Innovative Demonstration Hub has been for med in partnership with the University of Texas El Paso, El Pa so Water Utility,and the Hub of Human Innovation to advance academic, industry, entrepreneurial solutions in Texas' estimated 880 trillion gallons of brackick water. Through ad vance treatments and protocols, there are several opportunities for reuse, conserving, and repurposing water resources to address drought and supply challenges.

“Texas does not have wel l - organized, large - scale sites for testing, evaluating, demonstrating the world's best technologies seeking to en ter into our $9 billion market,” noted Ed Archuleta, El Paso Water System' former President and AccelerateH2O's Chairman. “ After talking with 30 national and global firms about their previous experience to bring in current and future generations of products and integrated tools , one common response was the need to have seamless access to professional ly managed sites to prove out their technologies for state permitting and showcasing effectiveness for investors and procurement decisio n - makers.”

According to the Texas Water Development Board:

“ Presently, there are 46 municipal brackish water desalination facilities in Texas with a capacity of more than 25,000 gallons per day. Of these facilities, 12 use brackish surface water as the source water, accounting for a design capacity of 50 million gallons per day (56,000 acre - feet per year), and 34 use brackish groundwater, accounting for a design capacity of approximately 73 million gallons per day (81,760 acre - feet p er year). In total, Texas has a desalination design capacity of approximately 123 million gallons per day (137,760 acre - feet per year) for municipal use . The El Paso Water Utilities' Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant has the biggest design capacity i n the state (27.5 million gallons per day or 30,800 acre - feet per year). Used by 44 of the 46 desalination facilities, reverse osmosis is the predominant desalination technology in Texas .”

The El Paso Water Utility has been in the forefront of advanced tr eatment — not just in desalination but in direct potable reuse, conservation, leak mitigation, and partnerships with New Mexico and Mexico water resource managers, end - users, and policy - makers. To launch the Innovative Demonstration Hub, AccelerateH2O has fo rmed a Regional Water Innovation Partnership with the Utility, the University of Texas El Paso, the Hub for Human Innovation, and several local and regional economic, workforce, technology, business, civic and public sector leaders including the City, County, BorderPlex Al l iance, and the El Paso Chamber.

University of El Paso President Diana Natalicio believes: “ ...t his Innovative Demonstration Hub builds on UTEP's expertise in desalination and advanced water treatment, and leverages our collaborative r elationship with public and private sector partners. It will establish El Paso as a national and global leader in the development and application of cutting edge technology aimed at securing sustainable water supplies in this region and beyond.”

“We welcome opportunities for collaboration with various public and private entities to advance innovation around water solutions tha t serve El Paso's interests and also have the potential to meet the needs of other Western communities that face similar drought challenges, said Fernando Rico, Chief Operating Officer for El Paso Water Utilities. “The Innovation Demonstration Hub create s an opportunity right here in El Paso to work with new partners who will test and demonstrate technologies that have the potential to address the challenges of inland desalination and advanced water treatment and contribute to our water future.” 2 Ky l e Fr azier , Texas Desalination Association 's executive director, noted , “We have a number of existing, proven desalination facilities throughout Texas but not enough to serve the needs of a growing population, industry and manufacturing demand, and surely what agriculture requires to feed the State and Nation. We support the work of the Innovation Hub in El Paso as a spark for networking expertise, resources, and technologies to make Texas the leader in brackish desa l products, services, and facilities . ”

AccelerateH2O has identified additional demonstration hubs to be located in South Texas/Rio Grande Valley (“Smart Irrigation Demonstration”), Greater Galveston (“Regional Innovation for Coastal, Industrial, and Residential Grand Challenges”), West Texas (“ Regional Innovation for Brackish Water, Aquifer Recharge, and the Future of Agriculture & Manufacturing”) and within similar urban, rural, coast, and arid locations.

“An innovative demonstration hub is either a specific location or a regional set of assets that once organized under our framework provides professional services to conduct testing and evaluation under federal and state safety and health compliance, on lar ge - scale facilities and millions of gallons of water to exceed engineering review, and provides a showcase for knowledge sharing among end - users, technology firms, academic researchers, and the marketplace of Texas' 4600 utilities and 5000 corporate campus es,” explained Richard Seline, Executive Director of AccelerateH2O. “Israel, Singapore, Canada to name a few have these types of locations - we need to be in the global arena for providing best - in - class proving grounds and real - time showcasing of opportuni ties.

A ‘Call for Proposals ' has been issued to international, national and state technology firms and integrated solution providers seeking to address challenges in brackish desalination and advanced treatment integration , and requiring demonstration of the efficacy and economics for their technologies.

Proposals will be determined on a fee - for - service model that AccelerateH2O has created, and includes eligibility for possible federal and state R& D tax credits and other incentives for technology firms and industry - related consortia. A copy of the Demonstration and Pilot Proposal Application can be found through the Texas Water Innovation Clearinghouse , accessed at http://www. or by contacting (800) - 708 - 0478.

About Accelerate H2O

There will always be challenges in Texas as well as barriers and limitations to innovating water. AccelerateH2O was formed to identify the most efficient and effective pathway for technology development and deployment across Texas' residential, industrial, agricultural, and utility end - users. With more than 18 university research centers, 4 , 600 water a gencies, 5 , 000+ medium and large corporate campuses, and thousands of farms and ranches, Texas represents an undiscovered $9 billi on water technology marketplace. We connect the market of ideas, resources, and assets by tackling barriers and limitations to innovating water in Texas.

Additional Resources Supporting the Demonstration Hub and Regional Water Innovation Partnership:

  • University of Texas El Paso - Engineering, Water Institute, and Senior Research Faculty
  • El Paso Water Utility and the KBH Desalination Plant Operations and Management Staff
  • National Desalination Research Center & Brackish Groundwater Facility - USBR
  • New Mexico State University - Senior Research Faculty and Staff - research/desal - research/
  • Texas Tech University Center for Wind and Energy Research - Center Staff - research/desal - research/
  • Rice University NEWT - Senior Technical Staff
  • Arizona State University - Senior Technical Staff (remote participation)

Media Contact:

Richard Seline
(800) 708-0478


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