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Advanced Water Treatment Research

Advanced water treatment is one of our few opportunities to create new water supplies for both inland and coastal areas. Research and innovation are needed to bring these new water supplies to the American West to help fulfill Reclamation's mission. Research and Development is part of Reclamation's overall activities for advanced water treatment.


Desalination and Water Purification Research Program Seeks Proposals to Improve Water Treatment Technologies

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. Reclamation will make a total of up to $1.4 million available for the funding opportunities. Research and laboratory studies may request up to $150,000 and pilot projects may request up to $400,000. Applicants are required to provide at least a 50 percent cost-share utilizing non-federal dollars. Institutions of higher education are not required to provide a cost-share for research and laboratory studies, but it is encouraged.

The funding opportunities are available at www.grants.gov by searching for announcement number R15AS00019 for research and laboratory studies and R15AS00021 for pilot projects. Applications are due on February 16, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. See more.

COMET Videos

Reclamation, in cooperation with the COMET Program, has published a set of video interviews with Frank Leitz, Senior Chemical Engineer at Reclamation. In these three short video interviews, Frank shares stories and lessons learned from his work on water purification and desalination projects.

In the first video, "Lessons-learned: Cost-modeling for Desalination Projects", Frank shares some historical lessons from his experience estimating the cost of desalination projects. 

In the second video, "The Pioneering Role of the Yuma Desalting Plant in Large-Scale Membrane Desalination", Frank provides some interesting background to the story of the creation of this historic and innovative project. 

In the final video of this set, "What was a major success of the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR)?", Frank describes some of the key achievements of this very successful program.

The MetEd description page
provides additional information and technical support.. 

Michelle Chapman at the EUWP, Brownsville, Texas
Our Advanced Water Treatment research focuses on meeting the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS)
challenges for desalination. The NAS found that:

  • Water scarcity will intensify in the coming decades.

  • A strategic research effort can help make desalination a more practical option for
    communities facing water shortages.

The National Research Council's overarching goals for advanced water treatment research are to:

  • Understand the environmental impacts of desalination and develop approaches to minimize these impacts relative to other water supply alternatives

  • Develop approaches to lower the costs of desalination to make it an attractive alternative to water importation or transfer in locations where traditional sources of water are inadequate

Our Research Program

Desalination and Water Purification Research Program

The Desalination and Water Purification Research program was established to facilitate partnerships with academia, private industry, and local communities to develop more cost-effective, technologically efficient means to desalinate water.

Reclamation’s AWT research, development, and implementation is providing innovative solutions our nation needs to help address droughts, uncertainty, and water needs for increasing population. AWT allows communities to develop a diverse portfolio of water supplies from non-traditional sources.

Our research priorities are based on our collaborations with the National Research Council, the NWRI, and others:

National Research Council Final Desalination: A National Perspective (15 mb pdf)

Desalination Roadmap (1 mb pdf)

Desalination Implementation Roadmap (1 mb pdf)

Videos for Desalination in Reclamation:

The views, analysis, recommendations, and conclusions on this website are those of the authors and do not represent official or unofficial policies or opinions of the United States Government, and the United States takes no position with regard to any findings, conclusions, or recommendations made. As such, mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the United States Government.