Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Advanced Water Treatment Research -->Research Facilities

Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

The Research Facility is a focal point for developing technologies for the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwater found in the inland states. It is located in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was opened on August 16, 2007. This facility brings together researchers from other Federal government agencies, universities, the private sector, research organizations, and state and local agencies to work collaboratively and in partnership.

NEW: See our video on BGNDRF:

Water for our Future: Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

More information:


A photo of the front of the Brackish Groundwater National Desaliantion Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico

The mission is to pursue research into supply-enhancing technologies for brackish groundwater. There are five areas of focus at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility.  They are:

Solutions to Concentrate Management
Research will focus on developing innovative methods for reducing the volume of concentrate that is removed from desalinated water--thereby increasing the amount of usable water produced. The research will also address developing environmentally sound processes for disposing of concentrates and will investigate beneficial uses of concentrate as well as byproducts that can be produced from concentrate.

Renewable Energy/Desalination Hybrids
Projects will research the development of cost-effective hybrid units that combine processes utilizing wind or solar energy with desalination technologies. It will also investigate alternative energy sources that have potential to reduce the costs of desalination including: fuel cells, geothermal, microwave and others.

Desalination Technologies for Produced Waters
The development of technologies that will reduce the environmental impacts and withstand the aggressive nature of water produced in conjunction with oil and gas production wells will be studied. The Research Facility has dedicated water storage and distribution lines that can accommodate these waters.

Small-Scale Desalination Systems
Small-scale stand-alone desalination units that can operate effectively off grid, generally through renewable energy sources may provide solutions to remote areas. Research will also study small-scale units that are inexpensive to purchase and operate and that can be operated with minimal maintenance. As a final step, monitoring techniques that can signal when small-scale units require maintenance to ensure that units located in the field are working properly will be developed.

Outreach and Education
Workshops, public displays and presentations in the building and at organized environmentally focused events will be used to provide experiences and opportunities to share knowledge. the goals of public outreach and education efforts are to increase interest in the field of water science and engineering, dispel myths about water, and promote understanding of the issues surrounding the decisions we all make in chosing where to obtain water and how we treat it on a personal level as well as the community and national level.

The Research Facility is integrated into Reclamation's existing desalination research and development program. It fills a unique role and draws upon the expertise and research activities already established.

BGNDRF water analysis

Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility Receives the Better Buildings Federal Award In 2013, BGNDRF was selected for the U.S. Department of Energy's first annual Better Buildings Federal Award for its extreme energy savings--reducing energy use by 53.6 percent over a year. As part of a comprehensive effort launched in 2011 to reduce energy use and save money, BGNDRF facility operators altered the building's air conditioning control settings and adjusted lighting (for landscapes, 24-hour lighting, and indoor nighttime) to minimize energy use during unoccupied hours. Steve Holland, BGNDRF's electronic technician, coordinated this work across the facility to achieve these high savings.

Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility
500 Lavelle Road
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Phone: 575-443-6540

View News Release: Reclamation Opens Doors to Research Facility for Developing Next Generation of Desalination Technologies