Grants Awarded to 30 Desalination Research Projects

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $5.1 million to a diverse group of desalination projects

Grants Awarded to 30 Desalination Research Projects

Desalination and water purification research — like this research being undertaken at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico — will help communities treat impaired or otherwise unusable water. (Photo By Alex Stephens, Bureau of Reclamation)

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The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced that 30 projects will receive a total of $5.1 million from the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to develop improved and inexpensive ways to desalinate and treat brackish water.

“We are awarding grants to a diverse group of projects to reduce the cost, energy consumption and environmental impacts of treating impaired or otherwise unusable water for local communities across the country,” says Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This funding is a direct result of the Trump administration’s commitment to increase water supply and delivery through improved technology.”

Twenty-five awards are for laboratory-scale projects, which are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates. They are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new materials or process modifications. Awards are limited to $150,000.

Five projects are selected as pilot-scale proposals, which test a novel process at a sufficiently large-scale to determine the technical, practical and economic viability of the process. Awards are limited to $400,000 and no more than $200,000 per year.

“We are addressing a critical need to reduce the costs, energy requirements and environmental impacts for treating unusable water. Our approach is unique. We are streamlining the funding process by asking the strongest applicants to pitch their concept,” Desalination Water Purification Research Program Administrator Yuliana Porras-Mendoza says about the program. “This is an opportunity to take a new approach from the lab to a real-world demonstration, providing products that serve the water treatment community and attract commercial interest.”

Types of projects funded include modeling, testing new materials such as nanomaterials, and improvements on known technologies such as distillation and electrodialysis. Projects are funded in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

More detail on each project is available at


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