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The Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development Program Newsletter - No. 19 - Spring 2001


Through the Desalination and Water Purification Research and Development (DWPR) Program, Reclamation is forming partnerships with private industry, universities, local communities, and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. The overall objective of the program is to reduce the cost of desalting and water purification technologies in order to augment water supply in the U.S.

As announced in the January special edition of Water from Water, two fiscal year 2001 DWPR pre-proposal solicitation packages were posted in the Commerce Business Daily. The pre-proposals are currently being reviewed; however, the full proposal packages are now available and may be obtained from Reclamation's Acquisitions & Assistance Management Services web site, www.usbr.gov/mso/aamd/. Parties without Internet access must request the proposal packages in writing by facsimile, (303) 445-6345, or e-mail address, rjackson@do.usbr.gov. Telephone requests will not be honored. Reference either or both (1) task areas A, C, E, & F for research and studies, and (2) task area G for testing of pilot-scale systems.

While submission of a pre-proposal is generally suggested, it is not mandatory. Therefore, researchers who were unable to submit a pre-proposal are encouraged to prepare and submit a full proposal at this time. Proposals must be submitted in accordance with the instructions contained in the proposal packages and are due no later than May 15, 2001.

For fiscal year 2001, Reclamation is soliciting two types of proposals: (1) Task areas A, C, E, & F for research and studies projects of 12 months duration or less (follow-on funding may be available for additional research studies, pilot-plant projects, or future demonstration projects). The award amount varies according to the area of interest. (2) Task area G for pilot-scale system investigations for projects of 24 months duration or less (follow-on funding may be available for future demonstration projects). Contingent upon Congressional funding, a maximum amount of $270,000 per agreement will be awarded for Reclamation's cost-share portion ($150,000 the first year and $120,000 the second year).

For more information about the DWPR program, contact Program Manager, Bill Boegli, (303) 445-2248, or visit the DWPR web site, http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/water/research/DWPR/.


The emphasis areas within the DWPR program were developed through extensive input from several workshops with constituents interested in desalination from 1989 to 2001. These emphasis areas include membranes, thermal, non-traditional processes, economic improvements, water recycling and reuse, concentrate issues, pilot-scale systems, partnerships, demonstration (discussed below), and technology transfer. Water recycling and reuse has been one of the more important and active parts of the program. However, as a result of research funding made available through the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act of 1992 (Title XVI of Public Law 102-575, as amended), water recycling and reuse will no longer be a major emphasis area within the DWPR program, except as it relates to specific membrane processes. For the time being, however, water recycling and reuse research accomplishments will continue to be reported under the DWPR program.

Recently, a $180,000 agreement was awarded to the WateReuse Foundation with Title XVI research funds. About $100,000 is being used to co-fund an endocrine disruptors and pharmaceutically active compounds research project with American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF), National Water Research Institute (NWRI), and Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF). The remaining funds covered costs associated with convening an expert panel to define pharmaceutically active compound research priorities, partnering several smaller co-funded research projects, and, to a lesser degree, administration of the agreement.

An additional $1,000,000 is available under Title XVI for water recycling and reuse research. The Title XVI program is currently working with the WateReuse Foundation to develop a process for the solicitation and award of cost-shared research agreements. Meetings between Title XVI managers, the WateReuse Foundation, and the California Water Resources Control Board were held at the end of January to discuss the Control Board matching $1,000,000 of state funds with Title XVI's $1,000,000. This effort is being coordinated through a joint task force consisting of the WateReuse Foundation, AWWARF, NWRI, and WERF.

For more information about the Title XVI water recycling and reuse research efforts, contact Title XVI Program Manager, Rick Martin, in Temecula, (909) 695-5310, or Research Coordinator, Bob Jurenka, in Denver, (303) 445-2254.


The DWPR program is authorized under the Water Desalination Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-298). The Act authorized program funding from October 1997 through September 2002. However, the program received its first appropriation in October 1998 and projects were awarded in September 1999. Authorization will expire in September 2002.

The two principal thrusts of the program are (1) perform research on desalination technologies and related issues to push the state-of-the-art forward (research and studies), and (2) conduct development and demonstration activities to test technological advancements, confirm economics, and gain public acceptance (demonstration projects). Research, studies, and pilot-scale projects have been successfully accomplished and reported on since 1998 (see previous Water from Water newsletters, below). However, prior to performing demonstration projects, Reclamation must submit a report to Congress recommending demonstration-phase or full-scale projects to further evaluate and implement the results of the research, studies, and pilot-scale projects. Now that we have successful results from several research, studies, and pilot-scale projects documented, the demonstration-phase recommendations report was recently initiated. The report summarizes four demonstration recommendations and includes a detailed description attachment of each recommended project. The report is expected to be submitted for official review by the first of April. The projects currently being planned for demonstration are (1) membrane bioreactors; (2) innovative membrane test bed for seawater desalination, which is a combination of several successful research projects including a pretreatment intake system, high pressure pumping system, advanced membranes, and further studies on concentrate disposal; (3) dewvaporation, which is an innovative humidification/dehumidication process; and (4) clathrate desalination, which is a freeze desalination process. Future work (research, studies, pilot-scale, or demonstration-phase projects) is dependent upon future funding.


Several cost-shared financial assistance agreements have recently been completed and the technical reports are now available. Refer to the DWPR reports web site, www.usbr.gov/water/publications/reports.html, for a list of all program reports. Recently, downloadable portable document file (PDF) links, for each report, were added to the web site. The file size for each report is provided to facilitate the download. Single, hard copies of any report can also be obtained by contacting Susan Martella at (303) 445-2257. Please provide the report number you are interested in and your name and full mailing address.


Water from Water is published by Reclamation's Water Treatment Engineering and Research Group - Susan Martella, Editor. For more information about the DWPR program, contact Kevin Price at: Bureau of Reclamation, 86-69000, PO Box 25007, Denver CO 80225; phone (303) 445-2260; or e-mail a message to MPrice@usbr.gov.