Reclamation includes four California projects for desalination and water purification research

By on August 16, 2018

The Bureau of Reclamation has selected 16 projects throughout the country to receive $3.5 million for desalination and water purification research. Four of the projects are in California and will receive a total of $778,424. Two of the projects are for laboratory projects and two are pilot-scale projects. The $3.5 million will be matched with $4.8 million in non-federal funding.

The research projects are part of the Desalination and Water Purification Research (DWPR) Program. The program works with Reclamation researchers and they jointly strive to develop more innovative, cost-effective and technologically efficient ways to desalinate water.

In announcing the 16 projects Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said, “Desalination is an increasingly important source of water for Western communities. Investing in innovative technologies to make desalination more affordable and energy-efficient will help many communities across the United States.”

The laboratory-scale studies are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates and often involves a high degree of risk and uncertainty. They are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new materials, or process modifications.

A pilot-scale project usually tests a novel process at a sufficiently large scale to determine the technical, practical, and economic viability of the process. They are generally preceded by laboratory studies that demonstrate if that the actual technology works.

The four California projects to receive Reclamation funds for their desalination and water purification research include:

Laboratory-scale Projects –

Trussel Technologies, Inc. (Pasadena, CA) – $150,000 for novel online surrogates to monitor reverse osmosis performance in reuse applications. University of California, Davis – $149,178 for flow cytometric monitoring of waterborne pathogens to facilitate water treatment and direct potable water reuse.

Pilot-scale Projects –

Carollo Engineers, Inc (Walnut Creek, CA) – $279,246 for pilot testing a two-stage, fixed bed biotreatment system for selenium removal.

University of California, Riverside – $200,000 for innovative water reuse systems harnessing chloramine photochemistry for potable water reuse.

The DWPR program supports the Department of the Interior’s priorities. These include creating a conservation stewardship legacy second only to that of former President Teddy Roosevelt, utilizing our natural resources, and restoring trust with local communities, among others. To learn more about Reclamation’s Desalination and Water Purification Research Program and see complete descriptions of the research projects please visit