Water Desalination Research and Development Program

The Water Desalination Act of 1996 is based on the fundamental need in the United States and world-wide for additional sources of high quality water.

Therefore, the primary objective of the program is to develop more cost-effective, technologically efficient, and implementable methods by which
usable water can be produced from saline water or water otherwise impaired or contaminated.

The two principal parts of the program are: (1) perform research on desalination technologies and related issues to advance the state of the art forward (research and studies), and (2) conduct development and demonstration activities to test technological advancements, confirm economics, and gain public acceptance (development projects).

Examples of Funded Projects

Examples of ongoing agreements awarded in FY 01 are: Development of membranes and membrane holding device for direct contact membrane distillation; Predicting membrane flux decline using parameters derived from field flow fractionation measurements; Determination of impact of magnetic fields on reverse osmosis separation; Study of two-phase technique for removal of biofilm and other foulants from spiral wound reverse osmosis membranes; Optimization at pilot plant level of membrane bioreactor systems for water reclamation; and Pilot study of membrane pretreatment (ultrafiltration and microfiltration) for seawater reverse osmosis desalination.

In FY 02 Congress instructed Reclamation to develop a desalination technology progress plan and a Tulerosa Basin Desalination R & D Feasibility Study in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

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