Amid Industrial Boom, Corpus Christi Officials Look To Meet Growing Water Demand

As more oil and gas facilities come online in the Coastal Bend, the city and port of Corpus — and a handful of private companies — are planning to build a bevy of seawater desalination plants.

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In 2017, ExxonMobil announced plans to build one of the largest chemical plants in the world just north of Corpus Christi.

Known as the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, the ethylene cracker — expected to be operational as soon as 2021 — is one of dozens of chemical manufacturing and other facilities in the works along the Texas Gulf Coast as industry looks to capitalize on a newfound ability to export oil and natural gas.

Local officials rejoice in the growth — Exxon's project is expected to pump $50 billion into the local economy in its first six years of operation but say it poses a challenge they are obligated to address: a growing demand for water.

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