Thursday, the Governor’s Texas Military Preparedness Commission awarded a $2 million grant to the City of El Paso for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant.
The grant will partially fund the City of El Paso’s partnership with Enviro Water Minerals Company to convert waste generated from the desalination process into drinkable water.
El Paso State Senator José Rodríguez said, “Adequate, reliable sources of water are critical for ensuring Fort Bliss remains one of the largest physical military installations in the country. The Army’s investments of infrastructure, and troops and support personnel from around the nation, are vital to El Paso’s continued economic prosperity.”
Sen. Rodriguez added, “I’m grateful that the State values El Paso’s special relationship with Fort Bliss. This grant award increases the value of the City of El Paso and federal government’s initial investments to create the pioneering Kay Bailey Hutchison Plant, the world’s largest inland desalination plant.”
The grant was awarded via the state’s Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program, an infrastructure grant program designed to assist military cities that may be impacted by a change in federal defense contracts.
As a result of substantial advocacy from military communities, including El Paso, the legislature appropriated $30 million for DEAAG grants in the most recent legislative session, which ended in June 2015.