Brackish Resources Aquifer Characterization System (BRACS)
Estimated at more than 2.7 billion acre-feet, brackish groundwater constitutes an important desalination water supply option in Texas.
However, one challenging issue - and a potential roadblock to the more widespread development of brackish groundwater - is the lack of detailed information (especially on parameters relevant to desalination) on brackish aquifers. While a 2003 TWDB-funded study laid the foundation for estimating brackish groundwater volumes, the study was by design regional in scope, limited in areal extent, and narrow in its assessment of groundwater quality. To remedy this situation, TWDB requested and received funding from the 81st Texas Legislature, 2009, to implement a program (Brackish Resources Aquifers Characterization System: BRACS) to more thoroughly characterize the brackish aquifers.
The goals of BRACS are to map and characterize the brackish aquifers of the state in greater detail using existing geophysical well logs and available aquifer data; build replicable numerical groundwater flow models to estimate aquifer productivity; and develop parameter-screening tools to help communities assess the viability of their brackish groundwater supplies.