Funding totalling US$ 1.5 million is being offered this year by the US Bureau of Reclamation for laboratory and pilot-scale studies of desalination and water purification systems.

Reclamation is seeking proposals from universities, water utilities, private industry and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. It is interested in research that will have national significance and where the benefits of the technology will be widespread.

Proposals that support Reclamation’s research priorities will receive additional credit during the rating process. Those research priorities are:

1. Research and pilot studies conducted at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility
2. Development and evaluation of flexible use systems for treating waters of significantly varying salinities
3. Pilot studies treating agricultural return flows containing elevated levels of total dissolved solids and selenium.

Laboratory studies lasts up to 13 months and are typically bench-scale studies involving small flow rates – less than 2 gallons per minute (0.13 L/s).

Pilot-scale studies typically follow research studies to demonstrate the technology works at a larger scale. They usually involve flow rates between 1 and 20 gallons per minute (0.06-1.3 L/s) and are tested using natural water sources rather than synthetic or laboratory-made feedwater.

Up to US$ 150,000 will be available for each laboratory study. Up to US$ 200,000 per year for each pilot-scale project will be available, for a total of up to US$ 400,000 for two years.

The funding opportunity announcement is available at by searching for announcement number R14AS00036. Proposals must be submitted through the same site by 14 May 2014.