The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded more than $1.7 million for 16 desalination research cooperative agreements. Including matching contributions, the total investment stands at more than $6 million.

“Developing new and efficient desalination technologies is a significant aspect of [Secretary of the Interior Gale] Norton's Water 2025 initiative,” said bureau commissioner John Keys. “This research will help facilitate new desalination technologies and nurture innovations to enhance existing water supplies and reduce the costs of currently available technologies.”

The awards were given from the fiscal year 2005 appropriation to water utilities, universities, and private companies across the country and represent a broad range of needed research in desalination and water reuse.

One problem in desalinating water is determining what to do with the wastewater. The Eastern Municipal Water District of Perris, Calif., was awarded $99,989 to evaluate and select processes for a zero-liquid discharge system. This research will help the district solve its desalination wastewater disposal issues and provide useful information to others with the same problem.

All non-university recipients are required to provide at least a 50% cost share of their total project proposal. Even with the universities exempted, the bureau achieved a greater than 50% total cost-share for the projects. For more information, visit www.usbr.gov.