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Reclamation awards $250,000 to winners of the More Water, Less Concentrate Challenge

Media Contact: Chelsea Kennedy, 702-280-2428,
For Release: Sep 9, 2022

DENVER – The Bureau of Reclamation selected winners for the More Water Less Concentrate Challenge, a prize competition that seeks to develop innovative, affordable, and environmentally sound solutions to reduce the volume of concentrate and generate more usable water from inland desalination plants.

“Across the Western United States existing fresh water sources are often over-allocated and desalination is often overlooked because of the perceived high cost,” said Malynda Cappelle, Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility manager “This competition seeks out innovative solutions to make desalination an affordable, environmentally sustainable, and efficient option where traditional sources of water are inadequate.”

Finalists deployed their completed prototypes for demonstration and testing at Reclamation's Water Quality Improvement Center at the Yuma Desalting Plant for seven continuous days. A panel of experts evaluated prototypes using data collected during the event, observations, and professional judgment.

Reclamation selected Team Olin - Harmony - MIT as the winner and awarded a prize of $150,000. Reclamation divided the remaining $100,000 prize purse among the following four finalists based on prototype testing performance, innovation, and potential for full-scale implementation.

  • Pacifica Water Solutions
  • AIL Research 
  • Membrion, Inc. 
  • University of Texas at El Paso Center for Inland Desalination Systems 

Reclamation partners with the NASA Tournament Lab and Carrot for this prize competition. To learn more, please visit

Reclamation conducts prize competitions to spur innovation by engaging a non-traditional, problem-solver community. Please visit Reclamation's prize competitions website to learn more.

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