A key state senator is touting an idea that he says could simultaneously address two of Texas’ most pressing problems — the threat of water and electricity shortages.
Sen. Troy Fraser, a Horseshoe Bay Republican whose district includes northwest Travis County, is suggesting that new power plants be built at sites where brackish groundwater can be desalinated and used as a substitute — albeit more expensive — for fresh water. Electricity is the largest cost of desalinating brackish water, which is saltier than fresh water.
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Laylan Copelin has covered public policy and politics for the American-Statesman for three decades. He delved into electricity supply issues in 2011, when generating plant outages caused rolling blackouts across the state, and he has written extensively about the ensuing political debate over electricity regulation.