California Drought Water Reclamation Program
California Drought Water Reclamation Program

Reclamation Seeking to Underwrite New, Innovative Processes for Desalination, Water Purification

The Bureau of Reclamation is looking to fund new, innovative technologies or processes for desalination and water purification. Referring to the process as the “pitch to pilot” funding opportunity, Reclamation anticipates awarding four to six agreements with up to $150,000 available per agreement through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. Though not required, applicants are encouraged to provide a non-federal cost share.

This unique funding opportunity will allow the top applicants to pitch their ideas to reviewers for the chance to test through a pilot demonstration. 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.

“We are addressing a critical need to reduce the costs, energy requirements and environmental impacts for treating unusable water,” said Desalination Water Purification Research Program Administrator Yuliana Porras-Mendoza said. “Our approach is unique. We are streamlining the funding process by asking the strongest applicants to pitch their concept. 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.”

Reclamation is seeking four specific components in the projects they fund for the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. The award recipients’ submission should include: a less energy-intensive way than current processes and technologies to treat brackish groundwater at the pilot scale; a way(s) to reduce the high cost, energy usage and/or environmental impacts of concentrate management for inland desalination at the pilot scale; improvement in the efficiency of treatment without increasing the total cost and energy usage of current systems for desalination pretreatment; and addressing costs, energy usage and/or environmental impacts of seawater desalination, including intakes and/or outfalls.

The funding opportunity is currently available at Within the website go to: Search grants and search funding opportunity number BOR-DO-19-F017. 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.

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