News Release 

Reclamation awards $3.6 million to improve desalination technologies

Bureau of Reclamation

Grant Announcement


IMAGE: Research, similar to this research being undertaken at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, will be conduced with the funding announced today. view more 

Credit: Alex Stephens/Bureau of Reclamation

WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $3.6 million to 10 projects for advanced water treatment research and development. The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program funding seeks to improve technologies for water supply development from nontraditional waters, including seawater, brackish groundwater, and municipal wastewater.

"Interest in desalination as a water source is growing in the United States," said Chief Engineer David Raff. "Improving technologies to treat water will make the advanced treatment of water more affordable for communities throughout the country and increase water supplies for the nation."

The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program supports President Biden's new Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad as it will help increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Reclamation selected six laboratory projects and four pilot-scale research projects. The $3.6 million will be matched by $5.3 million in non-federal funding to support the research projects. The selected projects are:

Pilot-Scale Projects

  • Carollo Engineers, Inc. (Arizona) - $403,002
  • Sephton Water Technology, Inc. (California) - $139,968
  • Gradiant Osmotics LLC (Massachusetts) - $800,000
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts) - $799,989

Laboratory Projects

  • Yale University (Connecticut) - $250,000
  • New Mexico Institute of Technology and Mining (New Mexico) - $249,969
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) - $249,630
  • SolMem, LLC (Texas) - $241,506
  • University of Houston (Texas) - $249,466
  • William Marsh Rice University (Texas) - $250,000

A laboratory-scale study involving small flow rates. They are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new materials, or process modifications. A pilot-scale project tests a novel process to determine the technical, practical, and economic viability of the process and are generally preceded by laboratory studies that demonstrate if that the technology works.

To learn more about Reclamation's Desalination and Water Purification Research Program and see complete descriptions of the research projects, please visit


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