Reclamation Announces Funding Opportunity for Cost-Effective Desalination and Water Purification

By on October 13, 2019
California Drought Water Reclamation Program

A new funding opportunity has been released by the Bureau of Reclamation its Desalination and Water Purification Research (DWPR) Program. The DWPR Program seeks to increase water supplies by reducing the cost, energy consumption and environmental impacts of treating impaired and otherwise unusable waters.

Applicants must provide at least 75 percent non-federal cost-share with the exception of institutions of higher education, United States-Mexico binational research foundations and inter-university research programs. Subject to appropriations, funds will be available for two projects — laboratory and pilot-scale projects as follows:

  • Laboratory scale projects — typically these are bench scale studies involving small flow rates and are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new material or process modification. Federal funding is limited to no more than $250,000 and projects must be completed within two years.
  • Pilot-scale projects – these projects test a novel process at a sufficiently large scale to determine the technical, practical and economic viability of the process and are generally preceded by laboratory studies that demonstrate the technology works. Federal funding is limited to no more than $800,000 per proposal and projects must be completed within three years.

“Reclamation is interested in research desalination and water purification technologies where the benefits are widespread and where research has a national significance, benefitting a large sector of the public,” said Reclamation’s Program Administrator Yuliana Porras-Mendoza.

The estimated total program funding is set at $1,475,000. This FOA will be updated to provide a second application deadline in fiscal year 2021 for proposals to be considered for fiscal year 2021 funding, contingent on appropriations. Eligible applicants include: individuals, county governments, state governments, nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, small businesses, city or township governments, private institutions of higher education, public and state controlled institutions of higher education, special district governments, for profit organizations other than small businesses, federally recognized Native American tribal governments and certain others. Foreign entities are not eligible for funding under the authorizing legislation for this program, except for the United States-Mexico binational entities as mentioned above. Federal agencies are not eligible to apply.

Applicants for desalination and water purification research project funding must submit their proposals by 4 p.m. MST on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. To view this funding opportunity, visit and search for funding opportunity number BOR-DO-20-F004.