Enviro Water Minerals Company (EWM) awarded Veolia a 10-year operations and maintenance agreement to manage its new commercial water plant in El Paso to enhance the city’s supply of drinking water. EWM has broken ground on the new water production and chemical manufacturing facility located next to the city’s Kay Bailey Hutchison (KBH) Desalination Plant, the world’s largest inland desalination plant.
This zero-discharge wastewater facility will be equipped with EWM’s cutting-edge technology to recover minerals and desalinated waste brine discharged from brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO). The innovative plant will take the waste brine concentrate from the KBH Desalination Plant, extract and transform salts and minerals into commercial products, and produce more than two million gallons of drinkable water a day for the region.
Hubble Hausman, CEO of EWM, stated “Waste brine disposal has long been the Achilles’ heel of inland desalination facilities. Our El Paso project will demonstrate that it is possible to produce multiple marketable chemical and mineral products from the waste brine while increasing the recovery of potable water and eliminating waste.”
The EWM plant will create up to two million gallons per day of additional drinking water from the waste and help extend the life of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer for future generations.
Steve Hopper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Veolia North America’s Industrial Business, said, “As the global leader in desalination from both a technology and operational perspective, Veolia brings considerable expertise to the partnership. We’re backing our experience with an operational performance guarantee that will play a critical role in the project’s success. Our mission of Resourcing the World is built around the idea of developing, preserving and replenishing resources, so we’re excited to be part of this project to provide El Paso with additional water sources while also preserving the environment through sustainable solutions and resource recovery technologies.”
The EWM plant will create up to two million gallons per day of additional drinking water from the waste and help extend the life of the Hueco Bolson Aquifer for future generations. The project is a great example of cities and industry working together to benefit communities and the environment. Scheduled to begin operations in early 2017, the plant is estimated to have an economic impact of about $7.7 million in El Paso and create local jobs.
Comments from community leaders
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser:
"I want to commend everyone involved in the collaborative effort to bring Enviro Water Minerals to El Paso and for moving the development process forward with the announcement of Veolia’s operations and maintenance agreement. The new plant will be bringing high quality, high paying jobs to El Paso. In addition to new jobs for our community, the investment made by Enviro Water Minerals will have a significant impact on all El Pasoans through the production of more than two million gallons of water per day. This plant and the continued progress prove that El Paso is a leader in the water industry.”
El Paso Water Utilities President and CEO John Balliew:
“El Paso has vast brackish water resources. This partnership will provide an important key to helping unlock expansion options for our desalination plant, which along with other strategies, will serve the long-term water needs of our community.”
Rolando Pablos, Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance:
“Today’s announcement is the next step taken by our local leaders and business community to ensure the environmental solvency of our region. As we work to draw new businesses to the North American Borderplex, today’s decision shows that our region is putting great thought into the management of its new investments and creating a high quality of life for our residents.”
El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar:
"It’s important that we continue to enhance our community's already successful efforts to preserve our precious water resources. El Paso Water Utilities through its many efforts, which include building the world’s largest desalination plant, have made El Paso a leader for other communities to follow. The innovative technology offered by Enviro Water Minerals, in collaboration with Veolia, will build on these successes, while adding jobs and a significant economic investment. Investments like this ensure El Paso remains a leader in water resource technology."