The Eunice City Council recently voted to have a Hobbs-based engineering firm continue studying the benefits of building a desalination plant for the community.

As depletion of fresh water from the Ogallala Aquifer continues, the council wants to know the feasibility of a proposed alternative — desalination of saline or brackish water.

The Hobbs News-Sun reported that it could cost about $5.5 million to build a plant and the completion of the engineering study likely will provide a more accurate estimate.