Radio Forum Examines Corpus Christi Desalination Project

Jason Cocklin

A wide-ranging radio forum provided another opportunity to answer questions about Corpus Christi’s seawater desalination project designed to develop a crucial new water source for the City.

The radio discussion, which can be heard at the KEDT-FM website, is among multiple platforms the City is using to share information about the project, which has been underway for several years. City officials invited Freese and Nichols, which is serving as Owner’s Representative on the project, to participate in the forum as a trusted adviser to provide technical background.

Among the aspects covered were:

  • Use of the best available technology and discharge techniques to make sure a desalination plant is environmentally sustainable
  • Steps taken by the City to not just meet regulatory requirements from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality but to go above and beyond them
  • Geotechnical considerations and impact studies to find the right location for the plant
  • Potential beneficial uses of concentrate produced by desalination, such as for marine habitat at the Texas State Aquarium

The panel included:

  • Peter Zanoni, Corpus Christi City Manager
  • Kevin Norton, Corpus Christi Director of Water Utilities
  • Esteban “Steve Ramos, Corpus Christi Water Resources Manager
  • Dr. Larry McKinney, Chair for Gulf Strategies at the Harte Research Institute

The forum included questions from Lon Gonzales, News Director of KEDT Public Broadcasting, and from radio listeners. 

The Corpus Christi City Council in 2018 approved applying for permits to build a seawater desalination plant. Securing federal and state permits is another step in a long process to ensure the project meets standards for safety and environmental sustainability. 

Freese and Nichols has worked with the City for more than six years as it explores and plans for adding seawater desalination to its options for securing a reliable water supply. In addition to technical and permitting expertise, our team has supported the City in securing state funding for the project through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), a Texas Water Development Board program.

Our team also has assisted the City with other public presentations, including a series of Desalination Virtual Townhall meetings on Oct. 6, 8, 12 and 14 that residents can watch online. 

You can listen to the Desalination Forum, which aired Oct. 7 and 9, online at the KEDT-FM website.

For more information about our desalination expertise, contact Jason Cocklin at