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DOE Awards $9M to 12 Projects to Advance Desalination and Water Reuse Tech

The selected research projects will attack two key process challenges.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) announced the selection of 12 projects that will improve the energy efficiency of desalination and water reuse technologies across the country.

The selected projects will drive decarbonization of the water and wastewater sectors through innovative technologies to treat, use and recycle water to bolster a circular economy and provide the U.S. with climate-resilient, cost-effective water supplies. 

The climate crisis, population growth and changes in how communities use water contribute to a growing water scarcity problem worldwide. Many regions around the U.S. are now water-stressed, lacking the water supply required for daily needs, agriculture and energy and materials production.

The selected research projects will attack two key process challenges in the treatment of brackish or salty groundwater, as well as municipal and industrial wastewater: 

  1. Pre-treatment prior to desalination
  2. Post-treatment and disposal of the high-salt concentrate waste created after the desalination process

These two steps often represent a large percentage of the total cost and energy associated with the treatment of nontraditional water sources.  

The projects will also advance NAWI’s goal of achieving pipe-parity for 90% of nontraditional water sources. Pipe parity is achieved when the costs and technology solutions for treating and reusing nontraditional water sources, such as wastewater, are equal to the cost of treating conventional water sources. 

Read the full list of selected projects. 

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