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- United States Bureau of Reclamation: Advanced Water Treatment Research
The program supports research activities from lab, pilot, and demonstration-scale testing.
- United States Bureau of Reclamation: WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow)
The program was created in February 2010 to pursue sustainable water supplies for the nation by administrating grants and scientific studies and providing technical assistance.
State and Local
- Brownsville Public Utilities Board
The Rio Grande Regional Seawater Desalination Project is Texas' first seawater desalination pilot study in support of efforts to construct a full-scale plant on the state's Gulf Coast.
- California Coastal Commission
The California Coastal Commission document contains technical and policy information on desalination.
- California Department of Water Resources: Recycling and Desalination
DWR's Water Recycling and Desalination program aims to increase the safe and beneficial use of recycled and desalinated water in California.
- El Paso Water Utilities
EPWU's state-of-the-art desalination plant at Ft. Bliss, Texas, is the largest inland desalination plant in the world and went online August 8, 2007.
- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Seawater desalination is an integral part of MWD which provides drinking water to nearly 18 million people in Southern California.
- San Diego County Water Authority: Seawater Desalination
The Water Authority is considering seawater desalination as one of its newest water supply diversification efforts. The concept is to convert seawater from the Pacific Ocean into a high quality and drought-proof local drinking water supply. Brackish water desalination is the treatment of saline groundwater extracted from underground aquifers.
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
SFWMD plans to have seawater desalination plants operating in the future.
- Tampa Bay Water: Seawater Desalination
The 25-MGD Tampa Bay, Florida, seawater desalination plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2006.
- West Basin Municipal Water District: Desalination Pilot Project
Since 2002, West Basin has been testing the feasibility of ocean-water desalination. After six successful years of study and tens of thousands of water-quality tests conducted at the pilot facility in El Segundo, West Basin is operating a Temporary Ocean-Water Desalination Demonstration Facility (Demonstration Facility) at the SEA Lab in Redondo Beach.
Associations and Organizations
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers
AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals.
- American Membrane Technology Association
AMTA promotes, advocates and advances the understanding and application of membrane technology to create safe, affordable and reliable water supplies for beneficial use.
- American Water Works Association
AWWA is an international non-profit scientific and educational society dedicated to improving water quality and supply.
- European Desalination Society
EDS is a Europe-wide organization for individuals and corporations who are interested in desalination and membrane technology.
- European Membrane Society
EMS promotes knowledge and the use of membranes and membrane processes at universities and in industry.
- Indian Desalination Association
InDA aims to develop and promote desalination technology for water supply, reuse, pollution control and other applications in India.
- Institution of Chemical Engineers
IChemE is the hub for chemical, biochemical, and process engineering professionals worldwide.
- International Atomic Energy Agency: Desalination Economic Evaluation Program (DEEP)
The Desalination Economic Evaluation Program DEEP is a tool made freely available by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which can be used for performance and cost evaluation of various power and water co-generation configurations.
- International Desalination Association
IDA develops and promotes the appropriate use of desalination and desalination technology worldwide.
- International Energy Foundation
The IEF is a non-profit group of scientists and engineers facilitating the transfer of research and technology in all areas of energy with special emphasis on developing countries.
- International Solar Energy Society
ISES is a non-profit global NGO dedicated to serving the needs of the renewable energy community.
- International Water Association
The IWA is a global network of water professionals spanning the continuum between research and practice and covering all facets of the water cycle.
- Japan Water Works Association
Japan Water Works Association is a non-profit foundation which performs various activities for the purpose of ensuring the sound development of water supplies.
- Middle East Desalination Research Center
The MEDRC's mission is to conduct, facilitate, promote, coordinate, and support basic and applied research in the field of desalination.
- Northwest Membrane Operator Association
NWMOA provides hands-on training and education of membrane plant operators.
- North American Membrane Society
NAM's mission is to serve the synthetic membrane community by fostering the development and dissemination of knowledge in membrane science and technology.
- South Central Membrane Association
SCMA is a regional affiliate of AMTA supporting development of membrane technology in water and wastewater treatment operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- Southeast Desalting Association
SEDA is a regional affiliate of AMTA dedicated to the improvement of the quality of water supplies through membrane desalting and filtration, water reuse, and other water sciences.
- Southwest Membrane Operator Association
SWMOA is a membrane operators group that has been formed to provide membrane operators a forum to exchange information, share experiences and knowledge, obtain training and acquire continuing education credits necessary for Operator Certification requirements.
- Separation and Purification Technology
The research group conducts research on adsorption, ion exchange, and membrane separations in the biotechnology, energy, and resource recovery and recycling applications.
- WateReuse Association
WateReuse is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the beneficial and efficient use of water using reclamation, recycling, reuse, and desalination.
- Water Science and Technology Association
WSTA deals with all aspects of water use and management in the Arabian Gulf region.
- World Water Council
The WWC's mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment, and trigger action on critical water issues worldwide.
Academic Institutions and Research Centers
- Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (New Mexico)
The research facility is a focal point for developing technologies for the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwater found in the inland states. It is located in Alamogordo, New Mexico and was opened on August 16, 2007.
- California NanoSystems Institute (California)
A collaborative effort between UCLA and UCSB, this group works in five major areas of nanosystems-related research including renewable energy; environmental nanotechnology and nanotoxicology; nanobiotechnology and biomaterials; nanomechanical and nanofluidic systems; and nanoelectronics, photonics and architectonics. Research is applicable to water treatment and desalination.
- Center for Inland Desalination Systems at UT-El Paso (Texas)
In partnership with El Paso’s desalination plant, the center was established in 2008 to develop and implement technologies to create alternative water sources in Texas and across the globe. The El Paso desalination plant uses reverse osmosis to treat brackish groundwater from the Hueco Bolson Aquifer.
- Center for Membrane Technologies, New Jersey Institute of Technology
The center is an academic-industrial interface consisting of faculty from NJIT, Rowan University, Rutgers University (New Brunswick) and the Stevens Institute of Technology. Seed funding for the center is provided by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology through its R&D Excellence Initiative.
- Environmental Nanotechnology Research Group at Michigan State University
The group’s research program primarily focuses on membrane processes and colloidal and interfacial phenomena in environmental systems.
- Institute of Technical Chemistry, University of Essen (Germany)
The main research activities are devoted to functional polymer materials with a focus on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and synthetic membranes, especially composite membranes. Membrane technologies and processes are evaluated with respect to life science and industrial applications.
- Membrane Research, University of Texas at Austin (Texas)
The group's research program is primarily experimental in nature, focusing on developing fundamental structure/property/processing guidelines for preparation of novel, high performance polymers or polymer-based materials for gas and liquid separations as well as barrier packaging applications.
- Membrane Technology Group, University of Twente (The Netherlands)
The mission of the Membrane Technology Group is to educate and perform fundamental research, and product and process development in the area of polymeric and hybrid material structures to control mass transport.
- National Research Center for Desalination of Brackish Groundwater (New Mexico)
The Tularosa National Research Center for Desalination at Alamogordo, New Mexico, is a federal partnership between the Sandia National Laboratories and the US Bureau of Reclamation that was established to lead the development of a new test and evaluation facility for novel desalination technologies.
- Grand Water Research Institute Grand Water Research Institute (Israel) / The Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI) at Technion University - is an inter-disciplinary research institute established to advance the theory and practice of desalination technologies.
- Sandia National Laboratories: Desalination and Water Purification (New Mexico)
The Desalination Roadmap and R&D at Sandia National Laboratories is part of the Water Initiative that is operated with funding from the US Government.
- Shankar Chellam’s Research Group at Texas A&M University (Texas)
The group’s research focuses on: quantifying temperature effects on nanofiltration membrane morphology; fabricating a new class of near-ideal microfiltration membranes; elucidating mechanisms of microbial transport and bacterial fouling; and, modeling performance during municipal drinking water treatment.
- The Elimelech Lab, Yale University (Connecticut)
The group’s work centers on problems involving physicochemical and biophysical processes in engineered and natural environmental systems. Research is at the interface of several disciplines, including colloid/surface science, molecular biology, nanotechnology, and separation science.
- The Center for Biofilm Engineering (Montana)
The Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) at Montana State University is a National Science Foundation research center dedicated to finding solutions and applications for industrially relevant problems and potentials of microbial biofilm formation.
- The Center for Membrane Applied Science and Technology (Colorado and Ohio)
The MAST Center is a National Science Foundation Multi-site Industry/University Cooperative Research Center at the University of Colorado and the University of Cincinnati to conduct research, transfer technology and promote education in membrane technology.
- The Separations Research Program, University of Texas at Austin (Texas)
Founded in 1984, the Separations Research Program at the University of Texas at Austin is supported by the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry departments at the university. The cooperative industry/university program performs fundamental research of interest to chemical, biotechnological, petroleum refining, gas processing, pharmaceutical, and food companies.
- UCLA Water Technology Research Center (California)
The specific objectives of the center are the develop the scientific framework for the desalination plant of the future, capable of economically and effectively producing potable water from brackish water sources, and to train the next generation of desalination and water treatment professionals.
- UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology (Australia)
The activities of the Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at the University of New South Wales, Australia, span a very broad spectrum of research and development in the field of membrane science and technology.
- University of Nevada Environmental Engineering Membrane Research Group
The group’s research interest include forward osmosis for concentration of anaerobic digester concentrate, removal of natural steroid hormones from wastewater using membrane contactor processes, osmotic MBR, and pressure-retarded osmotic MBR for wastewater treatment.
- US Bureau of Reclamation: Water Treatment Engineering and Research (Colorado)
The Water Treatment Engineering and Research (WaTER) Group is part of the Bureau of Reclamation's Technical Services Center in Denver, Colorado. The WaTER Group provides expert water and wastewater treatment engineering and research technical services.
- Wiesner Research Group at Duke University (North Carolina)
The group addresses challenges at the interface between water, energy and materials. Specifically, the group’s research is oriented along three main axes: environmental nanotechnology; membrane science; and surface chemistry and particle transport.
Useful Reference Manuals
- Desalting Handbook for Planners, 3rd Edition, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 2003
The Handbook contains descriptions of both thermal and membrane technologies in common use today, together with chapters on the history of desalination in the U.S. Chapters on pretreatment and post-treatment, environmental issues, and a chapter on case histories precede the final chapter on costs and cost estimating. The Handbook is designed for use by appointed and elected officials, planners, and consultants with a limited knowledge of the technologies involved, but who have enough familiarity with the general principles to recognize that desalting may have value as a viable alternate source of drinking water for their communities (Note: Summary from the Abstract in the Handbook).
- Water Desalination Technical Manual, US Army, 1986.
This manual (PDF format) describes the guidelines to be followed in selecting a process capable of producing potable water supplies from brackish water and seawater sources.