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Desalination, water purification research receives $1.4 million boost

August 14, 2014
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The Bureau of Reclamation said it has granted $1.4 million to nine research projects and pilot studies -- four research laboratory-scale projects; three pilot testing projects and two further pilot-scale projects will receive second-year funding.

The funding will go towards addressing desalination and water purification needs, which is the remit of the Bureau's Desalination and Water Purification Program. It aims to confront imbalances between supply and demand in basins throughout the Western U.S. through the development of new advanced water treatment technologies.

Research laboratory projects are small in scale and work to determine if a process is feasible. There is a cap on funding for each project at $150,000 -- and this is provided for one year. The University of Houston received full funding, as did California's West Basin Municipal Water District. Other recipients include the California State Polytechnic University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

If the researchers successfully show that a technology works it is followed by a pilot-scale project to determine the larger scale viability and suitability of a process. The pilot projects, which received funding, were the San Diego County Water Authority, New Mexico State University and the Eastern Municipal Water District. Second-year funding was granted to the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the University of Arizona.

The Bureau's Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley said, "Fostering development of new technologies will help improve the options communities have to be resilient to climate change and meet future water demands."

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