New desalination research projects get Reclamation funds

Seven new projects under the Desalination & Water Purification Research (DWPR) Program have been awarded funds by the US Bureau of Reclamation, commissioner Michael L Connor announced on 31 October 2011.

The awards, totalling US$ 1,509,000, 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 US$ 2,771,752 in research of alternative water treatment technologies.

The new projects are:

  • 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, California): US$ 199,809.
  • Carollo Engineers (Corona, California) – Combining Electrodialysis Reversal and Slurry Precipitation and Recycle Reverse Osmosis Technologies to Increase Recovery at Inland Desalters: US$ 197,968.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology – Optimization of Desalination Diffusers Using Three-Dimensional Laser Induced Fluorescence: US$ 101,968.
  • University of Toledo (Ohio) – Studies on Presence, Influence and Control of Biofilms on Desalination Membranes: US$ 115,420.
  • Resolute Marine Energy (Boston, Massachusetts) – Design and Testing of a Pressure Regulation Subsystem for a Wave-Driven Desalination System: US$ 37,000.
  • Eastern Municipal Water District (Perris, California) – Guidelines for the Use of Stainless Steel in the Water and Desalination Industries: US$ 86,572.
  • Suns River – Installation and Operation of a Full Solar Distillation Desalination Unit at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (Alamagordo, New Mexico) : US$ 84,703.
  • The two projects receiving continuing funding for their second phase are:

  • University of Texas at El Paso – Demonstration of Zero Discharge Desalination at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility at Alamogordo, New Mexico: US$ 499,996.
  • University of Nevada, Reno – Osmotically Assisted Desalination: A Low Energy Reverse Osmosis Hybrid Desalination System: US$ 186,492.
  • “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. “The research we are funding has the potential to unlock efficiencies that ensure future water supplies, strengthen our economy and create jobs.”

    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
  • 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.