The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) hub, announced the selection of 16 projects that will help the United States secure an affordable, energy-efficient water supply. Selected projects will develop innovative desalination technologies that can treat nontraditional water sources (e.g., brackish water, seawater, and industrial wastewater) and shrink the carbon footprint of the water-treatment industry.
“We are eager to partner with NAWI to support these awardees, whose work will improve the quality and availability of water for human consumption, agriculture, and energy and materials production,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “The projects announced today will apply cutting-edge research and development to our water-management challenges, ensuring we make the most of every water resource at our disposal.”
Improved desalination technologies can make nontraditional sources of water a cost-effective alternative. These nontraditional sources can then be applied to a variety of beneficial uses, such as drinking water, industrial process water, and irrigation. As an added benefit, these water supplies contain valuable minerals and organic materials that can be reclaimed and usefully repurposed.
The selected projects will perform research in autonomous operation, modular and manufacturable systems, and electrified treatment processes. These research topics support the technology-related goals established in the NAWI Master Roadmap, which was published in the summer of 2021.
NAWI is a public-private partnership that brings together a world-class team of industry and academic partners to examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to radically lower the cost and energy of desalination. NAWI is led by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in collaboration with National Energy Technology Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.