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The Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development Program Newsletter - SPECIAL EDITION - 2001

INTRODUCTION

The Desalination & Water Purification Research & Development (DWPR) Program continues to form partnerships to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. For more information about the DWPR, contact Program Manager, Bill Boegli, at (303) 445-2248, or visit the DWPR web site at: http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/water/research/DWPR/.

This special edition of Water from Water is prepared to provide you information related to the DWPR fiscal year 2001 pre-proposal solicitation packages.

PRE-PROPOSAL SOLICITATION PACKAGES

Two fiscal year 2001 DWPR pre-proposal solicitation packages were posted in the Commerce Business Daily on 01/08/01 and are now available. The pre-proposal packages may be obtained from Reclamation's Acquisitions & Assistance Management Services web site at: www.usbr.gov/mso/aamd/. 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. Parties without Internet access shall request the pre-proposal packages in writing by facsimile to (303) 445-6345 or to e-mail address dmulligan@do.usbr.gov. Telephone requests will not be honored. Pre-proposals must be submitted in accordance with the instructions contained in the pre-proposal packages and shall not exceed six pages in length. Pre-proposals are due no later than 03/01/01. Through the 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.

For fiscal year 2001, Reclamation is soliciting the following two types of pre-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 testing of 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).

Offerors (other than academic institutions of higher education) must be willing to cost-share 50% or more of the project cost, depending on the financial need of the project. Offerors proposing to provide additional cost-share will be given greater consideration. Cost-sharing may be made through cash or in-kind contributions from the offeror, or third party non-Federal participants. Cost-sharing is not mandatory from academic institutions, but is strongly encouraged. No profit or fee will be allowed. Patent rights for any developments will be retained by the research partner (offeror) in accordance with provisions contained in the solicitation. Any responsible source, to include individuals, academic institutions, commercial or industrial organizations, private entities, public entities (including state and local), or Indian Tribal Governments, may submit a pre-proposal which will be considered by Reclamation. Foreign entities, other than United States-Mexico binational research foundations and inter-university research programs established by the two countries, are not eligible for funding. Federal agencies are not eligible to apply. Pre-proposals will be reviewed for overall scientific and/or technical merit; potential contributions to the DWPR program objectives; qualifications of the proposer; and reasonableness of the estimated project costs. Meritorious pre-proposers will be encouraged to submit a full proposal. Submission of a pre-proposal is not mandatory; however, offerors are strongly encouraged to do so in order to receive the benefit of the initial pre-proposal screening process. Solicitation packages for the full proposals will be issued on or about 04/02/01, with a due date of approximately 45 days after issuance. Brief descriptions of each area of interest and their respective funding amounts are listed below. During fiscal year 2001, Reclamation anticipates making awards in the quantities listed below, subject to the content and quality of proposals received for each task area, however, should additional funding become available, additional awards may be made. A generic list of examples of the types of research and studies and pilot-scale investigations that will be considered are listed below for each task area. These examples will not necessarily be given preferential consideration over unspecified research that also meets the goals of the program.

RESEARCH AND STUDIES

For fiscal year 2001, Reclamation anticipates the award of a total of four or five financial assistance agreements of 12 months duration or less, with Federal funds of $75,000 to $100,000 awarded for each of the agreements, among the following research and studies task areas. Although listed in alphabetical order by task, the priority areas for funding are concentrate issues, non-traditional or alternative desalination, ancillary and economic improvements, and membrane process development.
TASK A - MEMBRANE PROCESS RESEARCH AND STUDIES - The primary objective of this task is to reduce the cost and increase the ease of operation of membrane-based desalting and water treatment systems. Projects sponsored under this task area can apply to any portion of a membrane treatment process including pretreatment related to membrane processes. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) development of integrated membrane systems (IMS), (2) research on techniques for membrane storage or preservation and for biological control during plant operation, (3) studies on adhesion of foulant or other materials to membrane surfaces, (4) studies on membrane cleaning, including frequency and effectiveness, (5) development of improved membrane-containing elements or stacks, (6) increase in rates of mass transfer to membrane surfaces, (7) studies on influence of minor components in groundwater on membrane properties, (8) studies on pretreatment specifically for membrane processes, (9) studies on presence and influence of biofilms on membranes, and (10) development of investigative techniques relating to membrane processes.
TASK C - NON-TRADITIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE DESALINATION RESEARCH AND STUDIES - Research and development studies will focus on investigation of non-traditional or alternative desalination or water purification techniques, to include the evaluation of economics and thermodynamic efficiency of these processes. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) development of new, innovative alternative desalination processes, (2) investigation of innovative techniques combining desalination processes with renewable energy sources including photovoltaic, wind power, solar thermal, and geothermal, and (3) investigation of freeze desalination and innovative combined desalination processes. Only technologies with the potential of becoming cost competitive with existing membrane and thermal processes will be considered. Proposed projects should have the potential to become commercially viable and have wide applicability.
TASK E - ANCILLARY AND ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENTS - This task area addresses four aspects of the authorizing legislation for this program that relate to the general economic improvement of desalination processes. (1) A method for evaluating the economic implications of technological improvements is of primary importance at this time. Reclamation has models for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration that are sensitive enough for this purpose, but needs models for electrodialysis, ion exchange, and thermal desalting methods. If the costs of desalting are to be decreased through the DWPR program it is vital that models for all desalting methods be obtained so that the recent technological improvements made under this program can be compared on an equal basis. (2) Studies optimizing cost and/or design for different operating conditions. (3) Investigation of methods for increasing the economic efficiency of desalination processes, including hybrid systems or dual-purpose co-facilities with other processes involving the use of water. (4) Detailed surveys of construction and operating costs for desalination facilities with common itemized categories of costs for each plant surveyed normalized to a common basis.
TASK F - CONCENTRATE ISSUES - Research and development studies will evaluate the various problems related to concentrate disposal, and develop innovative techniques to reduce concentrate disposal costs and impacts on the environment. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) recovery and use of irrigation return flows, (2) development of high salt complex mixtures, (3) creating products that use salts, (4) concentrate disposal systems development, (5) recovery and use of concentrate by-products (dissolved salts), (6) salinity modeling and toxicity analysis of concentrate discharges to the environment, (7) substitution of brackish concentrate for potable water in industrial applications, and (8) removal of supersaturated salts to permit further desalting of concentrate thus reducing the volume of concentrate requiring disposal. Only technologies with the potential of becoming cost competitive with existing alternative disposal methods will be considered. Proposed projects should have the potential to become commercially viable and have wide applicability.

PILOT-SCALE SYSTEMS

For fiscal year 2001, Reclamation anticipates the award of one or two financial assistance agreements of 24 months duration or less. Federal funds up to $150,000 will be awarded the first year for pilot-plant design, construction, and installation. Subject to the content and quality of proposals received, up to $120,000 for an optional second year for testing, modification, and evaluation will be awarded without further competition.
TASK G - TESTING OF PILOT-SCALE SYSTEMS - The primary objective of this emphasis area is twofold (1) to cost-share the design, fabrication, and testing of pilot-scale systems, processes, and concepts, and (2) to cost-share the design, construction, and testing of pilot-scale systems. Awards under this task typically result from successful research and studies from one of the other emphasis areas in the DWPR program that demonstrates a high level of success and a need for further technology development. However, any researcher may submit a pre-proposal who can provide sufficient documentation indicating that a high level of prior successful research has been accomplished and that the project is at the design, build, and testing pilot-plant stage.


CONTACT US

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.