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Advanced Water Treatment

Advanced water treatment and water reuse (AWT) is a new water supply source, which increases water use efficiency and water supply currently unused or underused sources.  Water reuse and desalination may be the only ways to create “new” water supplies to meet these needs—and to fulfill the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (Interior) strategy goals and Reclamation’s mission.

Thus, AWT enables Reclamation to partner with water users throughout the West to expand the supply of water to meet growing needs.  AWT is not an exclusive program, but cuts across Reclamation as we have many programs, projects, and expertise that incorporate AWT.  Each of the programs use the findings of the research and encourages stakeholders to apply AWT rather than conventional treatment when appropriate.  There are also a number of Reclamation projects incorporating AWT research to solve problems that have not been solved before and also have implications beyond the project, e.g. the Water Quality Improvement Center at the Yuma Desalting Plant and the San Joaquin Valley Drainage Demonstration Facility.

Reclamation’s AWT research investments support a continuum of activities beginning with basic research discoveries leading to lab, pilot, and demonstration-scale testing to show technical and economic feasibility. 

Recent items

Dec. 11, 2014, Bureau of Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program Seeks Proposals to Improve Water Treatment Technologies The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals within two funding opportunity announcements to improve water treatment technologies aimed at increasing water management flexibility through new usable water supplies in the United States. The first is for research, laboratory studies and the second is for pilot projects. More...

August 11, 2014, Nine Desalination and Water Purification Research Projects and Pilot Studies Receive $1.4 million from the Bureau of ReclamationBureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that nine research projects and pilot studies will receive $1.4 million to address desalination and water purification needs. Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program will provide the funding for four research laboratory-scale projects and three pilot testing projects. Two previously announced pilot-scale projects will receive second-year funding. More... | Project Descriptions

March 31, 2014, Reclamation Partners with USAID to Highlight Innovation in Desalination ScienceReclamation is partnering with the U.S. Agency for International Development to launch the Desal Prize – a worldwide effort to identify and promote innovation in brackish groundwater desalination. Reclamation is providing technical guidance to the project and will host Desal Prize semi-finalists at its Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, N.M. More...

Programs and Projects

Reclamation’s AWT activities span applied research, pilot, demonstration, appraisal, feasibility, design, construction, opperation and maintenance, and outreach and technology transfer. AWT uses seawater, brackish water, and wastewater.

Research Programs

WaterSMART  The  U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) program works for efficient use of water, integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural ersources, and coordinating the waer conservation activities of various DOI bureaus and offices.  Reclamation plays a key role as the Department's main water agency.

Rural Water (Rural Water Authority)

Yuma Desalting Plant

National Academy of Sciences Report

Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply
through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater

Testing Facilities



Last updated: December 12, 2014