Wednesday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbot announced $14.1 million in grants to Texas military communities, with El Paso and El Paso Water landing a portion of the grant money.
El Paso Water officials say they are the beneficiary of $2.05 million for the expansion of El Paso Water’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant.
When he made the announcement, Governor Abbott stated that “now more than ever this support is critical as military installations in Texas add $101 billion to the state’s economy and support, directly and indirectly, more than 224,000 jobs in communities across this great state.”
“El Paso Water and the Fort Bliss Public Works Directorate have collaborated to develop a set of joint priorities to improve water and mission resiliency,” said John Balliew, EPWater President and CEO. “The KBH Plant expansion is the number one priority identified that will benefit both Fort Bliss and the City of El Paso. We thank Fort Bliss and the City of El Paso for collaborating with us on this grant application.”
Utility officials released the following statement:
El Paso Water is pleased with the Governor’s announcement today that El Paso Water has been awarded $2.05 million toward expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination (KBH) Plant.
Along with the $2.05 awarded from the Bureau of Reclamation, the grant will double the utility’s investment of $4.1 million to help with the Blend Well Collector Pipeline Project, which is the first step in the two-part expansion of KBH.
The $8.2 million project will enable construction of a pipeline to deliver source water that is approximately 7 miles away into the KBH plant. The second phase of the expansion will be the addition of a fifth reverse osmosis skid.
When both parts of the expansion are complete, KBH will have a production capacity of 33.5 million gallons (MGD) per day. Its current capacity is 27.5 MGD.
The grant award was announced Wednesday by Governor Greg Abbott. El Paso is one of six Texas military communities selected to receive Defense Economic Adjustment Assistant Grant (DEAAG) from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC).