Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
February 26, 2003
Contact: Lewis Simmons
Phone: (512) 463-0130

Estes files legislation to increase state's water supply with increased desalination

AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, filed legislation today that would increase the state's water supply by promoting expanded use of desalination technology.

"Senate Bill 696 responds to the state's growing demand for drinkable water," said Estes, a member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

"The purpose of this bill is to encourage the production and use of desalination in Texas," Estes said. "If desalination is going to be successful in our state, we must have a working partnership between the government and the private sector."

Estes' legislation provides a franchise tax exemption for corporations engaged solely in the business of manufacturing, selling, and installing desalination devices capable of producing at least 3,000 gallons of desalted water per day. It also would allow a corporation that has purchased a desalination device to deduct from its apportioned taxable capital the amortized cost of the desalination device.

"Water consumption in Texas is continuing to increase as our state's population grows; however, groundwater resources are projected to remain relatively static. More efficient water use and conservation methods will help alleviate some of the potential shortfall, but not all of it. I believe desalination is essential to providing sufficient amounts of drinkable water for human consumption and agricultural uses," Estes said.

Senate Bill 696 also has gained the early support of Estes' colleagues including Senator Ken Armbrister, D-Victoria, chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

Desalination is the process of removing salts, minerals, chemical compounds, microscopic, bacteria and viruses from water, and it shows to be a promising way to produce more usable water for Texans, according to Estes.

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