City of Corpus Christi Receives Update on Seawater Desalination Project

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Today, the City Council received an update to the City of Corpus Christi Seawater Desalination Siting and Permitting Project from city staff and Freese and Nichols Inc. (FNI) The project, which could provide the region with a new water supply, has been long discussed.

Current efforts are focused on taking definitive steps toward the construction and operation of seawater desalination facilities. The goal is to be “trigger ready” to proceed when conditions – such as weather or growth – justify the investment in seawater desalination.

Mr. Wolfhope, PE Division Manager and VP of the engineering firm FNI, began by noting the City Council and staff have taken critical first steps in this project including participating in a completed feasibility study; submitting and receiving a loan from the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas (SWIFT), administered by the Texas Water Development Board.

The next phase of the project is to focus on site selection and permitting. Mr. Wolfhope detailed the work accomplished over the last eight weeks. Initial coordination meetings have been held with certain key regulatory agencies. Work on the criteria to be utilized for site selection along with identification of potential sites is underway. A proactive outreach program is also planned throughout the project.

Mr. Wolfhope closed by stating getting to the trigger ready point will lower risks by reducing unknowns and provide the area with a path forward for a drought resistant water supply.

The FNI team combines local and state expertise in water and permitting with globally experienced team members who have worked in 16 different countries on various aspects of seawater desalination efforts. The effort is an outgrowth of cooperative work over the last three years by a group that included the City of Corpus Christi, San Patricio Municipal Water District, the Corpus Christi Economic Development Corporation, the Port of Corpus Christi; and members of the Port Industries of Corpus Christi. 

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Gabriela Morrow at (361) 826-3583 or by email at