Desalination and Water Purification Research Program



About DWPR Program

    The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR) works with Reclamation researchers and partners to develop more innovative, cost-effective, and technologically efficient ways to desalinate water.


  • News - Awards

    Reclamation awards $5.1 million in research for new ways to desalinate and treat water


    (July 15, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation announced that 30 projects will receive $5.1 million from the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to develop improved and inexpensive ways to desalinate and treat impaired water.

    "We are awarding grants to a diverse group of projects to reduce the cost, energy consumption and environmental impacts of treating impaired or otherwise unusable water for local communities across the country,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This funding is a direct result of the Trump Administration’s commitment to increase water supply and delivery through improved technology.” Twenty-five awards are for laboratory-scale projects, which are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates. They are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new materials or process modifications. Awards are limited to $150,000.

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    Project Descriptions

  • DWPR Education - WEFTEC IKE Video

    Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility video selected for 2019 WEFTEC Interactive Knowledge Exchange


    (June 20, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation's video "Making Desal Cool: How Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility Teaches 3rd Graders the Science of Turning Salty Water into Freshwater" has been selected for the 2019 Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition Conference (WEFTEC) Interactive Knowledge Exchange (IKE).

    The Water Environment Foundation (WEF) is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals. This year's WEFTEC - the world's largest water-quality event - takes place in Chicago, IL during September 21-25, 2019. IKEs are short videos utilizing a creative combination of sound and visual imagery to convey a concentrated message.

    The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) is a test-bed for developing, validating, and demonstrating a wide variety of technologies for desalting water. In addition to this work, BGNDRF has honed its outreach education efforts teaching students in a fun and interactive event called “Discovering Desal.”

    Since 2016, over 2,000 third graders have visited BGNDRF during Discovering Desal and participated in learning stations related to the importance of fresh water, how water becomes salty, using reverse osmosis and electrical charges to remove dissolved salts from water, how renewable energy powers desalination technologies, and more. The event reaches all third graders in the Alamogordo Public School system, as well as private schools, homeschool groups, and students from the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Discovering Desal also includes an on-the-road event for summer school students to small towns near the eastern border of New Mexico.

    The IKE video production was a collaborative effort across Reclamation's Research and Development Office, the Washington Public Affairs Office, and BGNDRF staff and volunteers. For more information about Discovering Desal, contact Randy Shaw, BGNDRF Facility Manager, at rshaw@usbr.gov.

  • News - Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Reclamation launches funding opportunity for desalination and water purification pilot projects

    (April 30, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a novel "pitch to pilot" funding opportunity seeking new innovative technologies or processes for desalination and water purification. Top applicants will pitch their ideas to reviewers for the chance to test through a pilot demonstration.

    "We are addressing a critical need to reduce the costs, energy requirements and environmental impacts for treating unusable water. Our approach is unique. We are streamlining the funding process by asking the strongest applicants to pitch their concept," said Desalination Water Purification Research Program Administrator Yuliana Porras-Mendoza said. "This is an opportunity to take a new approach from the lab to a real-world demonstration, providing products that serve the water treatment community and attract commercial interest."

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    View Grant Opportunity at Grants.gov

  • News - Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Bureau of Reclamation launches funding opportunity for 2019 Desalination and Water Purification Research Program

    (September 12, 2018) The Bureau of Reclamation is making the 2019 funding opportunity for the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. The funding opportunity is available for private industry, universities, water utilities and other research sponsors to submit proposals to cost-share laboratory-scale and pilot-scale projects that address DWPR goals and objectives.

    The goal of the DWPR Program is to increase water supplies by reducing cost, energy consumption and environmental impacts of treating impaired and otherwise unusable waters. Reclamation is interested in research where the benefits are widespread and where research has a national significance — where the issue are of large-scale concern and the benefits accrue to a large sector of the public.

    Applicants for desalination and water purification research projects funding must submit their proposals by 4:00 p.m. MST on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

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    View Grant Opportunity at Grants.gov


Last Updated: 7/23/19