News Release

Reclamation awards $125,000 in prize competition to increase usable water

Grant and Award Announcement

Bureau of Reclamation

Water Quality Improvement Center

image: The Water Quality Improvement Center in Yuma, Arizona, will be the location for testing and performance evaluation of the finalists' prototypes. view more 

Credit: Bureau of Reclamation

WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation selected five teams to share $125,000 in the first phase of the More Water Less Concentrate Prize Competition. This competition challenged the public to develop innovative solutions to reduce byproducts that require additional treatment and disposal and increase freshwater supplies from inland desalination plants.

The winning teams are:

  • AIL Research (Hopewell, New Jersey)

  • Olin - Harmony - MIT (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

  • Membrion, Inc. (Seattle, Washington)

  • Pacifica Water Solutions, LLC (Northridge, California)

  • University of Texas at El Paso Center for Inland Desalination Systems (El Paso, Texas)

"Water demand is growing, and the sustained and recurring periods of drought highlight the need for more usable water," said Chief Engineer David Raff. "Solutions providing affordable, environmentally sustainable, and efficient inland desalination systems will make it an attractive option compared to other alternatives in locations where traditional sources of water are inadequate."

During this next phase, the finalists will receive additional prize awards, up to $90,000 each, for meeting specific milestones as they develop their prototype. The submitted prototypes will be tested, and their performance evaluated at Reclamation's Water Quality Improvement Center at the Yuma Desalting Plant next year.

Receiving honorable mention are:

  • Applied Membrane Technology Inc. (Minnetonka, Minnesota)

  • Fluid Technology Solutions (FTS) Inc. (Albany, Oregon)

  • Carollo Engineers, Inc. and UNC Charlotte (Boise, Idaho)

  • Crystal Clear (Golden, Colorado)

The $825,000 More Water Less Concentrate Prize Competition launched in October 2020 to support the development of innovative, affordable, and environmentally sound solutions to reduce the volume of concentrate and generate more usable water from inland desalination plants. To see the selected project titles and learn more about the competition, please visit

Reclamation conducts prize competitions to spur innovation by engaging a non-traditional, problem-solver community. Through prize competitions, Reclamation complements traditional design research to target the most persistent science and technology challenges. In the past six years, Reclamation has launched 30 competitions and awarded more than $3,500,000. Please visit Reclamation's Prize Competition Center to learn more.


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