In a joint desalination research project between the Awwa Research Foundation, California Energy Commission, and Black & Veatch, reverse osmosis pilot skids will be transported to various sites. Photo: Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan., is leading a research project—sponsored jointly by the Awwa Research Foundation and the California Energy Commission—to develop a treatment process that reduces the cost and energy consumption for inland desalination with zero liquid discharge (ZLD). The team will use computer modeling and bench-scale and pilot testing to develop cost-effective solutions for concentrate management.

“Many utilities today are challenged to meet growing water demands while managing increased salinity levels in surface water and groundwater sources,” said AwwaRF project manager Jennifer Warner. “This research will further the understanding of ZLD and help communities utilize impaired sources more effectively and economically.”

The research team includes scientists and engineers from Black & Veatch, several universities, and GE Betz Water Technologies. The utility partners in the effort are the Phoenix Water Services Department; Southern Nevada Water Authority; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Beverly Hills, Calif.; and San Antonio (Texas) Water System. The resulting report will be available in 2007. For more information, visit