Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 5/23/2024

Desalination and Water Purification Research Program: Pitch to Pilot

The United States Department of the Interior (Department), Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR) works with Reclamation researchers and partners to develop innovative, cost-effective, and technologically efficient ways to desalinate and treat water.

DWPR funding plays a critical role in iterating an idea from the lab to a real-world demonstration, yielding products that serve the water treatment community and attract commercialization interest. Reclamation is interested in research where the benefits are widespread but where private-sector entities are not able to make the full investment and assume all the risks. Reclamation is also interested in research that has a national significance—where the issues are of large-scale concern and the benefits accrue to a large sector of the public.

The goal of the DWPR program is to address the need to reduce the costs, energy requirements, and environmental impacts of treating impaired and unusable water. The program also aligns with Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” by investing in development and application of advanced water treatment technologies that expand access to otherwise unusable water resources, thereby increasing water supply flexibility under the risks of long-term climate change and shorter-term drought. For further information on the DWPR Program, see www.usbr.gov/research/dwpr.

The funds provided through this NOFO will be available for selected recipients to design, construct, install, and test a pilot-scale process at an already known location using a real water source. Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and Water Quality Improvement Center (WQIC) in Yuma, Arizona, may be available if a location for testing is needed.

Deadline for Phase I Technical Proposal: July 24, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time

Areas of Interest

This NOFO’s objectives are to develop innovative and disruptive new technologies or processes to: 

• Reduce the costs, energy requirements, and/or environmental impacts of treating impaired and unusable water to standards necessary for an identified beneficial use. 

• Improve efficiency of water treatment processes—either by improvements to pre-treatment, post-treatment, monitoring, sensors, or other innovative process/technology. 

• Increase effectiveness of concentrate and residuals management by reducing cost, energy, and/or environmental impacts.

• Treat brackish groundwater in a less energy-intensive way than current processes and technologies.

• Address costs, energy usage, and/or environmental impacts of seawater desalination, including intakes and/or outfalls

• Improve the detection, characterization, monitoring, separation, or destruction of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances and other contaminants of concern.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants eligible to receive financial assistance to fund activities under this NOFO include: state governments, county governments, city or township governments, special district governments, Native American tribal governments, institutions of higher education, nonprofits, individuals, and for profit organizations.

Eligible projects are innovative pilot-scale technologies or processes tested at flow rates above one gallon per minute using natural water sources (rather than synthetic or laboratory-made feed water). Innovative is defined herein as an approach, process, and/or technology that is not being implemented at full scale in the United States but shows promise for scaled-up implementation in the field of water treatment. This pilot testing is typically used to determine the technical, practical, and/or economic feasibility of a process or technology

Amount Description

Maximum Award: $300,000

Minimum Award: No minimum award amount

Funding Type