Reclamation seeks proposals through desalination research funding opportunity

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WASHINGTON, DC, April 21, 2014 -- In a large-scale effort to address a broad range of desalination and water purification needs, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is seeking proposals from universities, water and wastewater utilities, the private industry, and many others across the United States.

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

Funding will be provided for laboratory studies and pilot scale projects. Laboratory studies lasts up to 13 months and are typically bench-scale studies involving small flow rates (less than 2 gallons per minute). Pilot scale studies typically follow research studies to demonstrate that the technology works at a larger scale. They usually involve flow rates between 1 and 20 gallons per minute and are tested using natural water sources rather than synthetic or laboratory-made feedwater.

Reclamation will provide up to $1.5 million in total funding this year. Up to $150,000 will be available for each laboratory study. Likewise, up to $200,000 per year for each pilot scale project will be available, for a total of up to $400,000 for two years.

Institutions of higher education are encouraged to provide cost-share for research projects, but it is not required. Other applicants must provide a cost-share of 75 percent of the cost of the project. It may be reduced to 50 percent if it is determined that the project is not feasible without such increased federal contribution.

The Desalination and Water Purification Program is helping Reclamation and its partners confront widening imbalances between supply and demand in basins throughout the west through testing and development of new advanced water treatment technologies. It focuses on three main goals:

  1. Augmenting the supply of usable water in the United States
  2. Understanding the environmental impacts of desalination and develop approaches to minimize these impacts relative to other water supply alternatives
  3. Developing 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

The funding opportunity announcement is available at by searching for announcement number R14AS00036. Proposals must be submitted through the website by May 14, 2014, at 3 p.m. MDT.

See also:

"New partnership to highlight innovation in desalination science"

"Desalination methods to be studied with UTEP grant"

"Desalination of saline and brackish water becoming more affordable, say researchers"


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