Reclamation Opens Doors to Research Facility for Developing Next Generation of Desalination Technologies

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, (303) 445-3615
Doug Hendrix, (801) 524-3837

For Release: August 16, 2007

The Bureau of Reclamation, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), and others today officially opened the doors to the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted in Alamogordo, N.M. The new research facility is dedicated to testing the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwater. This facility was created through a partnership between Reclamation, Sandia National Laboratories and New Mexico State University.

"Access to plentiful supplies of fresh water is an increasingly critical national and international issue," said Bob Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. "Demand for fresh water in many regions of the world has already outstripped supply. The technologies developed at this center will be a part of the solution."

The new facility will attract outstanding researchers to work on developing cost effective, efficient desalination technologies that, when applied to brackish and impaired groundwater, result in new supplies of usable water for municipal, agricultural, industrial, and environmental purposes. The facility is dedicated to speeding the transfer of technologies to end users by bridging the gap between engineering and other sciences.

"Today's opening of this national research center is a key step in expanding our nation's water supplies," said Pete V. Domenici, United States Senator from New Mexico. "The partnerships formed bringing this research facility from concept to reality, will become the basis of our nation's future in water purification technologies."

Reclamation believes that improving research and processes will help to increase output and also lower the costs of desalinating brackish or saline groundwater.

"In order to maintain economic development, improve standards of living and health, and minimize future regional and international conflicts, we need to continue to develop sustainable supplies of high quality water for drinking and other uses," said Johnson.

Located at the facility within the Tularosa Basin are a central research building and external research areas which are situated on a 40 acre fenced site. The facility location, just east of Holloman Air Force Base within the Alamogordo city limits, was chosen to support national and international research on inland brackish ground water desalination. Construction of the 16,000 square foot research building was completed in late May 2007.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility