NMSU student working with electrodialysis for the desalination of water


Resources for researchers, students, community members, and anyone who would like information on the history of the cooperative agreement, relevant publications, past meetings, and funding opportunities.


NMSU/BOR Cooperative Agreement Timeline

NMSU/BOR Cooperative Agreement Timeline

February 18, 2016

Reclamation and NMSU entered into a Cooperative Agreement entitled, Center for the Development and Use of Alternative Water Supplies – A collaborative project between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Regents of NMSU to increase scientific knowledge and research expertise in the area of characterization, treatment, and use of alternative…Read More


First cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and NMSU Institute of Energy and the Environment begins.                                                                                                                           Eleven projects are supported under the 2011-2015 cooperative agreement. Twenty-nine students participated on projects with 10 receiving degrees. Fourteen journal articles were published or were in press at the completion of the…Read More

2008 & 2009

At the behest of U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici, research efforts specifically directed by Congress in 2008 and 2009 and to use BGNDRF to conduct said research


Construction began on the Brackish Groundwater National Research and Development Facility (BGNDRF) in 2004, followed by a ribbon cutting in August 2007, commissioning in 2008, and research starting in 2009.


The movement to create a desalination research facility to address the need to lower costs of brackish water treatment, to improve performance and to manage the concentrates removed from the water began in 2001 when Congress, through the Desalination Act, directed Reclamation, in cooperation with Sandia National Laboratories, to plan…Read More


Relevant Publications

The following articles and documents are provided to give background information on desalination and the development of alternative water supplies in New Mexico and research in the field of alternative water supplies. Also, these publications are meant to provide a context for the current research done under the NMSU/BOR cooperative agreement. This is not a comprehensive list.

The Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR) funds Reclamation researchers and partners to develop more innovative, cost-effective, and technologically efficient ways to desalinate water. This link lists every research project report done under the DWPR Program.

This link is for the Conference Proceedings from NM WRRI’s 49th Annual Water Conference on Water Desalination and Reuse Strategies for New Mexico. These proceedings provide extensive viewpoints of desalination and its potential place in New Mexico’s water supply portfolio.

Arizona Water Institute and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Salinity Management and Desalination Technology for Brackish Water Resources in the Arid West: Summary Report of a Workshop held on August 6th, 2007, Tempe, A.Z.: ADEQ, 2008.


Good summary of the technologies and research areas of desalination as it pertains to Arizona and their water supply portfolio.

Brady, Patrick V., Richard J. Kottenstette, Thomas M. Mayer, and Mike M. Hightower."Inland Desalination: Challenges and Research Needs."Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education (2005): 46-51.

This article gives a comprehensive overview of desalination in the southwest in its early stages, with an emphasis on challenges and the research opportunities to mitigate those concerns.

Gude, Verra G., Nagamany Nirmalakhandan, and Shuguang Deng."Renewable and Sustainable Approaches for Desalination." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14 (2010): 2641-5654.

This paper discusses desalination technologies and possible combinations of renewable energy sources to manage the exorbitant costs associated with desalination.

Haddad, Brent M."A Case for an Ecological-Economic Research Program for Desalination" 324 (2013): 72-78.

This paper explores using ecological economics to address many of the potential issues regarding desalination as the number of desalination proposals increases and installed capacity continues to grow.

Lucero, Lora and A. Dan Tarlock."Water Supply and Urban Growth in New Mexico: Same Old, Same Old or a New Era." Natural Resources Journal 43 (2003): 803-835.

This article provides valuable background information on the state of New Mexico’s water supplies due to the strain of rapid urban growth and strategies to combat it based on alternative strategies.

National Water Research Institute and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation,Desalination Research and Development Workshop Report, Fountain Valley, CA, 2001 .


One of the first documents prepared to establish the national agenda for desalination research.

Interstate Stream Commission, Lower Rio Grande Regional Water Plan 2017, Santa Fe, NM, 2017.


Desalination is listed as one of the strategies to meet the future water demand in the Lower Rio Grande Regional water plan. This document shows the importance of having desalination as part of the water supply portfolio for southern New Mexico.

Water Science and Technology Board, Review of the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap, Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2004.

An early review done by a collaboration from Sandia National Lab and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and focuses on improving technologies used to purify impaired waters, including cost reduction, efficiency improvements, and contaminant removal improvements.


Meetings and Agendas


Funding opportunites