Grant Details

Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR): Pitch to Pilot - FY 2024

Agency: U.S. Department of Interior
CFDA: 15.560
Federal FON: R24AS00324
Office: Bureau of Reclamation Research and Development Office
Multipart Grant: No
Next Due: 07/24/2024 (Due Date)
Solicitation Date: 05/22/2024
Match Required: Recommended
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: $1,500,000 (Estimated)
Award Range: $300,000 (Max)

The purpose of this program is to address the need to reduce the costs, energy requirements, and environmental impacts of treating impaired and unusable water. Funding will support the design, construction, installation, and testing of pilot-scale processes at already known locations using a real water source. The funding agency's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and Water Quality Improvement Center (WQIC) in Yuma, Arizona, may be available if a location for testing is needed. This program is intended to develop innovative and disruptive new technologies or processes to:

  • Reduce the costs, energy requirements, and/or environmental impacts of treating impaired and unusable water to standards necessary for an identified beneficial use
  • Improve efficiency of water treatment processes, either by improvements to pre-treatment, post-treatment, monitoring, sensors, or other innovative processes/technologies
  • Increase effectiveness of reverse osmosis/nanofiltration concentrate management by reducing cost, energy, and/or environmental impacts
  • Treat brackish groundwater in a less energy-intensive way than current processes and technologies
  • Address costs, energy usage, and/or environmental impacts of seawater desalination, including intakes and/or outfalls
  • Improve the detection, characterization, monitoring, separation, or destruction of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances and other contaminants of concern

Eligible projects are innovative pilot-scale technologies or processes tested at flow rates above one gallon per minute using natural water sources, rather than synthetic or laboratory-made feed water. For the purposes of this program, innovative is defined as an approach, process, and/or technology that is not being implemented at full scale in the United States but shows promise for scaled-up implementation in the field of water treatment. This pilot testing is typically used to determine the technical, practical, and/or economic feasibility of a process or technology.

This program also aligns with Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, by investing in development and application of advanced water treatment technologies that expand access to otherwise unusable water resources, thereby increasing water supply flexibility under the risks of long-term climate change and shorter-term drought.

Last Updated: May 23, 2024

Eligibility Notes:

Eligible applicants are:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Private, public, and state-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
  • Native American tribal organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status
  • For-profit organizations, including small businesses

Federal agencies are not eligible to apply.

Previous award recipients include:

  • Interphase Materials, Inc. (PA)
  • Orange County Water District (CA)
  • University of North Carolina - Charlotte (NC)
  • University of Utah (UT)
  • OceanSpace, LLC (FL)

Refer to the Award file for additional information regarding previous award recipients.

Eligible Applicants:
Local Government
Academic Institutions
Native American Tribe
Non Profits
Private Sector
State Government
Tribal Organizations/Institutions
Application Notes:

Mandatory phase I technical proposals must be received by 4:00 p.m. MT on July 24, 2024.

Phase I technical proposals must be submitted online at Emailed or faxed submissions will not be accepted.

Phase I technical proposals must include:

  • SF 424
  • SF 424A
  • SF 424B (if applicable)
  • SF 424D (if applicable)
  • Project abstract summary
  • Technical proposal (12 pages max)
  • Budget detail and narrative
  • Recommended components:
    • Environmental and cultural resources compliance
    • Required permits or approvals
    • Overlap or duplication of effort statement
    • Conflict of interest disclosure statement
    • Uniform audit reporting statement
    • Certification regarding lobbying
    • SF LLL (if applicable)
    • Letters of support
    • Letter of funding commitment
    • Personnel qualifications
    • Resumes for each identified key personnel (2 pages max each)

The technical proposal must be formatted on pages with at least one-inch margins using at least an 11-point typeface.

The following are required in order to submit an application:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number
  • SAM (System for Award Management) registration
  • SPOC (state Single Point of Contact) notification

Applicants may obtain a UEI number and verify or renew SAM registration status at Applicants in states participating in the SPOC program must contact the relevant SPOC listed in the SPOC file before applying.

Phase I technical proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Impact of proposed work (25 points)
  • Project readiness (20 points)
  • Innovation (15 points)
  • Familiarity in the field of work (15 points)
  • Schedule and quality assurance/quality control (10 points)
  • Alignment with program objectives (5 points)
  • Nonfederal cost share (10 points) 

Phase I applicants submitting successful phase I technical proposals are expected to be invited in September 2024 to participate in the phase II virtual pitch presentation. Phase II virtual pitch presentations for selected applicants will take place between October 16, 2024, and October 17, 2024. Applicants that do not participate in the phase II virtual pitch presentation will be automatically disqualified from proceeding further and will be ineligible for an award.

Refer to the NOFA, Guide, and FAQ files for additional application information.

Match Required: Recommended
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: $1,500,000 (Estimated)
Award Range: $300,000 (Max)
Match Notes:

Matching funds are not required for this program; however, the provision of cash and/or in-kind contributions is highly encouraged. To receive additional points during the phase I technical proposal evaluation process, applicants must provide at least 1 percent of the total project costs via matching contributions. Applicants providing more than 50 percent of the total project costs via matching contributions will receive the largest number of points.

Cost-share funding from sources outside the applicant's organization, such as loans or state grants, must be secured and available to the applicant prior to award.

The following may not be used as a match:

  • Other sources of federal funding, unless the federal statute authorizing the federal funding specifically provides that such funds may be applied to matching or cost-sharing requirements of other federal programs
  • Third-party in-kind contributions that have been, or will be, used to satisfy a cost-sharing or matching requirement for another federal financial assistance agreement, federal procurement contract, or any other award of federal funds
  • Costs for application preparation, including the development of data necessary to support the proposal
  • Costs incurred prior to notification of selection for award
Funding Notes:

An estimated total of $1.5 million is expected to be available to support approximately five to six cooperative agreements of up to $300,000 each through this program. There is no minimum award amount.

The funding agency expects to contact potential award recipients and unsuccessful phase II participants in December 2024 or later, if necessary, subject to the timing of final FY 2025 appropriations. Awards are anticipated to be made on March 31, 2025.

The project period will last 18 months. Projects are anticipated to be completed by September 30, 2026.

Environmental and regulatory costs may be incurred by both the funding agency and the award recipient. In cases in which environmental or cultural resources compliance requires significant participation by the funding agency, the funding agency will add a line item for costs incurred by the funding agency to the budget during development of the financial assistance agreement and cost shared accordingly, as detailed on pages 20-21 of the NOFA file.

Pre-award costs incurred prior to the effective date of award and are necessary for the efficient and timely performance of the scope of work may be allowable with prior written approval provided by the funding agency, as detailed on page 20 of the NOFA file. Funds may not be used for costs incurred prior to notification of selection for award.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Planning activities eligible under the WaterSMART: Water Recycling and Desalination Planning program, known in eCivis Grants Network as US17879A and US17879B
  • Work currently funded under an existing financial assistance agreement from the funding agency
  • Construction of permanent research facilities
  • Testing of established water treatment processes for the purposes of generating site-specific information
  • Costs for application preparation, including the development of data necessary to support the proposal
  • Lobbying activities

For FY 2021, a total of $1.6 million was distributed via nine awards ranging from $102,700 to $200,000 through this program. Refer to the Award file for details.


Application Submission and Award Administration Contact:

Christina Munoz
(720) 614-2192

Applicant and Project Eligibility and Application Review Contact:

Andrew Tiffenbach
(303) 445-2393

Mailing Address
Bureau of Reclamation
Research and Development Office
Attn: Andrew Tiffenbach
P.O. Box 25007, MS 86-69100
Denver, CO 80225

Contact Notes:

Questions should be directed to the appropriate program contact. Questions submitted via email must include "R24AS00324" in the subject line. Applicants are encouraged to submit questions at least one week prior to the application deadline.

Applications must be submitted online at

NOFA File: US17026_NOFA_FY2024.pdf (843.3 Kb)
Guide File: US17026_Guide_FY2024.pdf (247.3 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US17026_FAQ_FY2024.pdf (211.8 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US17026_Budget_FY2024.xlsx (83.4 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US17026_BudgetNarrativeGuide_FY2024.pdf (232.1 Kb)
Award File: US17026_Award_FY2024.pdf (214.1 Kb)
Federal Forms:
SPOC (195.6 Kb)
File Notes:

The NOFA file contains the full solicitation for this program. The Guide file contains additional program information and application guidelines. The FAQ file contains a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding the funding agency's programs. The Budget file contains the required budget detail and budget narrative form form for the phase I technical proposal. The BudgetNarrativeGuide file contains detailed budget narrative instructions. The Award file contains information regarding previous award recipients. The SPOC file contains information on the state Single Point of Contact program.

Grant Keywords
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Grant Categories
Community Development
Environment/Natural Resources
Water Supply/Quality