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Reclamation funds up to $150,000 for desalination and water purification pilot projects

  • Reclamation funds up to $150,000 for desalination and water purification pilot projects

About the entity

Bureau of Reclamation
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.

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."

Specifically, Reclamation is seeking:

  • a less energy-intensive way than current processes and technologies to treat brackish groundwater at the pilot scale.
  • to reduce the high cost, energy usage and/or environmental impacts of concentrate management for inland desalination at the pilot scale.
  • to improve efficiency of treatment without increasing the total cost and energy usage of current systems for desalination pretreatment.
  • to address costs, energy usage and/or environmental impacts of seawater desalination, including intakes and/or outfalls.

Reclamation anticipates awarding four to six agreements with up to $150,000 available per agreement through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. Applications are due June 25, 2019, at 4 p.m. MDT. Reclamation will invite the finalists to present their proposal at Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on August 28-29, 2019.

The funding opportunity is available at by searching funding opportunity number BOR-DO-19-F017. Though not required, applicants are encouraged to provide a non-federal cost share. Individuals/entrepreneurs, institutions of higher education, commercial or industrial organizations, private entities, state and local governmental entities, federally-funded research and development centers, tribal governments and organizations, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Learn more about Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program at

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