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Reclamation Awards $1.5 Million to Further Research into Alternative Water Treatment Technologies

New Technologies Show Potential for Stretching Current Water and Energy Supply

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615

For Release: October 31, 2011

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced that $1,509,000 has been awarded for seven new projects under the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. The awards include five research and laboratory studies and two pilot tests. Reclamation is also funding the second phase of two previously awarded projects. This funding will be leveraged to support $2,771,752 in research of alternative water treatment technologies.

"By investing in alternative water treatment technology research we are working to find ways to stretch the nation’s current water supply, use less energy and reduce impacts to the environment," Commissioner Connor said today. "The research we are funding has the potential to unlock efficiencies that ensure future water supplies, strengthen our economy and create jobs."

The following seven projects are being funded by Reclamation:

  • University of California at Los Angeles - Pilot-scale Evaluation of High Recovery Desalination of Agricultural Drainage Water with Smart Integrated Membrane Systems (Western San Joaquin Valley, Calif.): $199,809.
  • Carollo Engineers (Corona, Calif.) - Combining Electrodialysis Reversal and Slurry Precipitation and Recycle Reverse Osmosis Technologies to Increase Recovery at Inland Desalters: $197,968.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology - Optimization of Desalination Diffusers Using Three-Dimensional Laser Induced Fluorescence: $101,968.
  • University of Toledo (Ohio) - Studies on Presence, Influence and Control of Biofilms on Desalination Membranes: $115,420.
  • Resolute Marine Energy (Boston, Mass.) - Design and Testing of a Pressure Regulation Subsystem for a Wave-Driven Desalination System: $37,000.
  • Eastern Municipal Water District (Perris, Calif.) - Guidelines for the Use of Stainless Steel in the Water and Desalination Industries: $86,572.
  • Suns River - Installation and Operation of a Full Solar Distillation Desalination Unit at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (Alamagordo, N.M.): $84,703.

The following two previously awarded projects are receiving continuing funding for their second phase:

  • University of Texas at El Paso - Demonstration of Zero Discharge Desalination at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility at Alamogordo, N.M.: $499,996.
  • University of Nevada, Reno - Osmotically Assisted Desalination: A Low Energy Reverse Osmosis Hybrid Desalination System: $186,492.

The DWPR Program has three goals: Augment the supply of usable water in the United States, understand the environmental impacts of desalination and develop approaches to minimize these impacts relative to other water supply alternatives, and develop approaches to lower the financial costs of desalination so that it is an attractive option relative to other alternatives in locations where traditional sources of water are inadequate.

To learn more about the DWPR Program and previously conducted research, please visit:

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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Advanced Water Treatment