2015 Desalination and Water Purification Research Project Awards
For FY2014, nine entities will share more than $1.4 million in awards in support of laboratory and pilot scale research studies in the field of water desalination and purification. Through required cost shares of up to 75%, Reclamation’s funding will be leveraged to support a total of $3 million in research.
"New desalination and water purification technologies have the potential to assist Reclamation and its partners confront the widening imbalances between supply and demand in river basins throughout the West," Acting Commissioner Pimley said. "Fostering development of new technologies will help improve the options communities have to be resilient to climate change and meet future water demands."
Research laboratory projects are small-scale projects used to determine if a process is feasible. Funding is provided for one year and is capped at $150,000 per project:
- University of Houston (Texas); Advanced Pretreatment for Nanofiltration of Brackish Surface Water: Fouling Control and Water Quality Improvements; $150,000
- California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Development of Photovoltaic Electrodialysis Desalination System; $99,992
- University of Texas at San Antonio; Activated Sludge Aeration Waste Heat for Membrane Evaporation of Desalination Brine Concentrate; $85,587
- West Basin Municipal Water District (California); Subsurface Intake Study for Ocean-Water Desalination; $150,000
Pilot-scale projects are preceded by research studies that demonstrate a technology works. The goal of a pilot study is to determine the physical viability and suitability of a process on a larger scale:
- Eastern Municipal Water District (California); Pilot Scale Groundwater Desalter Brine Concentrator Study; $131,057
- New Mexico State University; Demonstration of Monovalent Selective Ion Exchange Membranes for Desalination and Reuse Enhancement; $199,944
- San Diego County Water Authority (California); Pilot Testing Program for the Proposed Camp Pendleton Seawater Desalination Project; $200,000
If the selected pilot projects complete a sufficient amount of work in the first year, they may receive additional funding for a second year. The Eastern Municipal Water District is a one-year project.
Also, two pilot studies announced in 2013 will receive funding for their second year of testing:
- City of Corpus Christi (Texas); City of Corpus Christi Desalination Pilot Study; $200,000
- University of Arizona; Reverse Osmosis Concentrate Management through Halophyte Farming; $186,328
Successful applicants were chosen through a competitive, merit-reviewed process. Entities that were eligible include individuals, institutions of higher education, commercial or industrial organizations, private entities, public entities or Indian Tribal governments. Entities, except institutions of higher learning, must cost-share at least 75% of the project cost.