NAS' National Research Council offers comments on Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap

At the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's request, National Academy of Sciences National Research Council has published comments on the bureau's "Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap."

June 20, 2003 -- At the request of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Academy of Sciences National Research Council has published comments on the bureau's "Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap."

The roadmap was released late Feb. 12 to guide future investments necessary to reduce the cost of desalination. The report, compiled by a panel of experts, also discusses related advanced water treatment technologies and enhanced use of desalination.

Those comments can be read at this location.

The roadmap defines a research and development path for desalination technologies, beginning in Feb. of 2003 and continuing through the year 2020 that, if implemented, will support finding solutions to the nation's water supply-related needs by advancing the state-of-the-art of water desalination.

Desalination technologies will change the way the nation manages and uses water by providing new processes to cost-effectively and efficiently remove salts and other contaminants from impaired waters.

Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, John Keys said, "cost reduction is the single most important factor necessary to increase the implementation of desalination which will in turn reduce pressure on our limited fresh water supplies."

"As we enter the fourth year of a drought in many western states, it is imperative that we develop new technologies to increase our domestic water supply, this innovative report is a step in the right direction," Keys concluded.

The report will be used to guide decision making by Congress, federal agencies, utilities, and research institutions and individuals funding or conducting desalination research.

In light of its significance, the Bureau of Reclamation asked the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council to review the report to address whether the roadmap presents an appropriate and effective course to help address future freshwater needs in the U.S. The NRC was also asked to identify general priorities for research investments. The final "roadmap" will incorporate the comments from the NRC and other national desalination experts.

The report is available for review on the web in PDF format or by calling Kevin Price, Manager, Water Technology, Engineering and Research Group, Bureau of Reclamation, at (303) 445-2260 or Tom Hinkebein, Desalination Research Roadmap Program Manager, Sandia National Laboratories, at (505) 844-6985.

Feedback on the report will be shared with the committee established by the National Research Council's to undertake its review. Feedback on the report can be directed via email to: Kevin Price at or

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

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