The National Research Council’s (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board has undertaken a — Department of the Interior and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation  — sponsored study on advancing desalination technology. They want to know how fast research is moving–ie how fast research will result in desal costs coming down. How much money to spend to make it happen. Where to allocate funds in the most promising research fields. How desalination compares to bulk water transfers. etc. Its been ongoing for about a year. It should be completed  by  year end. The last meeting is 08/08/2007.

If you want to participate and you don’t have private access –they will have some meetings open to the public. I’m thinking of going myself. But it would be better to have people who were closer to  the research — throw in their two cents. And of course, for  those whose research is dependent on federal  dollars — Woods Hole, Mass August 8 — would be a good place to be. Come to think of it… Woods Hole has been a famous destination in years past for science people. So be there or be square.

Below is the only PR I’ve seen on this.

Clarkson University

June 13, 2007 .] Article Photo

Clarkson University Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering Amy K. Zander is the chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Advancing Desalination Technology.

The National Research Council’s (NRC) Water Science and Technology Board has undertaken a study on advancing desalination technology. Zander’s committee is conducting a study that will produce recommendations to federal, state, and local governmental and private entities concerned with advancing desalination.

The committee will study the potential for both seawater and inland brackish water desalination to help meet anticipated water supply needs in the United States, assess the current state-of-the-science in desalination and recommend long-term goals for advancing desalination technology. Following up on an NRC recommendation calling for the development of a national research agenda, the committee will determine what research is needed to reach the long-term goals for advancing desalination and what technical barriers should be resolved with existing technologies.

The committee will also examine the practical aspects of implementation, like economics, financing, regulatory, institutional, public acceptance, and consider how much research funding is needed to significantly advance the field of desalination technology and the appropriate roles for governmental and non-governmental entities, including the private sector.

The study, sponsored by the Department of the Interior and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, should be completed by the end of the year.

Zander has been a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson since 1991. She was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and was named full professor in 2003. She has been the associate dean for Academic Programs in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering since 2005.

Her research interests are in the areas of physical and chemical separations in environmental systems, especially drinking water and wastewater treatment technologies. Her work involves finding new solutions for safe drinking water and for minimal impact of water and wastewater treatment systems on the natural environment. She specializes in membrane processes — both pressure-driven and concentration-driven — in environmental processes.

Zander has published dozens of journal articles, written and co-written numerous book chapters, and delivered papers at some 50 professional and academic conferences throughout North America. She has managed research projects totaling over $800, 000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, and other funding agencies.

Zander has served on two prior committees of the National Academy of Sciences, producing the report Safe Water from Every Tap: Improving Water Service to Small Communities in 1997 and Confronting the Nation’s Water Problems: The Role of Research in 2004.

Her other honors include the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Distinguished Service Award in 2005; the 2003 Samuel Arnold Greeley Award from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, a division of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the AEESP/McGraw Hill Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science; and Clarkson’s 1999 Distinguished Teaching Award.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. The NAS was signed into being by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, at the height of the Civil War. As mandated in its Act of Incorporation, the NAS has, since then, served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3, 000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

Find out more about the study at

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or]

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  1. The field of desalination technology is about to be shaken to its roots. The Solar Still has been re-invented and will debut in 2009. See:

    Comment by sunsriverdotorg — January 5, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  2. Corrected blog address for my process breakthrough:

    Comment by sunsriverdotorg — January 6, 2009 @ 4:18 am

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