Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) is a focal point for developing technologies for the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwater found in the inland states.

Located in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the facility opened on August 16, 2007. BGNDRF brings together researchers from other Federal government agencies, universities, the private sector, research organizations, and state and local agencies to work collaboratively and in partnership.

Facility Address: 500 La Velle Road, Alamogordo, NM 88310

Contact: Randall Shaw, Facility Manager, rshaw@usbr.gov, 575.443.6553



  • Newsletter

    Pitch to Pilot Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Image of BGNDRF Newsletter cover.

    (May 2020) - The Bureau of Reclamation is making up to $1 million available through its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program (DWPR). This funding opportunity is seeking innovative and cost-effective new water treatment technologies. This unique two-phase funding opportunity will have selected applicants pitch their new technology to technical experts this fall.

    "There is a need to reduce the cost, energy requirements, environmental impacts in treating unusable water," said DWPR Program Administrator Yuliana Porras-Mendoza. "This innovative program allows technical experts to help select the strongest applicants."

    Read More

  • Knowledge Stream Magazine

    Feature: Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

    Image of Knowledge Stream research magazine cover.

    (March 2020) This issue highlights the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program’s operational funding of the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    In addition to supporting clients and fostering technology development, BGNDRF also hosts more than 1000 visitors per year and offers special events bringing together private sector, academic, government organizations, and the public to discuss water technologies.

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  • Newsletter

    2nd Annual WIN Workshop Post Event Report

    Image of BGNDRF Newsletter cover.

    (January 10, 2020) Once again, the indoor test bays of BGNDRF were transformed for the 2nd Annual Water Innovations and Networking (WIN) Workshop. There were 134 attendees present, compared to 93 the previous year. The audience was comprised of representatives from 5 federal agencies, 5 state agencies/institutes, 8 universities, a national lab, businesses from the water and oil sectors, and many others.

    Attendees of the WIN Workshop heard technical presentations given by past and present clients of the BGNDRF. Topics included technology innovations of electrodialysis, pre- and post-treatment technologies, technologies for treating high TDS water, agriculture associated research, and reverse osmosis technologies.

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  • Event

    2nd Annual Water Innovation and Networking Workshop

    WIN supporting image.

    (October 28-29, 2019) BGNDRF's 2nd Annual Water Innovation and Networking Workshop provided clients of the Bureau of Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) with an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience in a rich environment for networking with potential customers, investors, partners, and other interested parties.

    Attendees had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at BGNDRF and what the facility has to offer.

    This year, in addition to presentations by organizations with projects at BGNDRF, attendees heard speakers from BGNDRF, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, Antelope Water Management, and Global Water Intelligence.

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  • Newsletter

    Pitch to Pilot Funding Opportunity

    Image of BGNDRF Newsletter cover.

    (August 29, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a novel "pitch to pilot" funding opportunity seeking new innovative technologies or processes for desalination and water purification. Top applicants will pitch their ideas to reviewers for the chance to test through a pilot demonstration.

    "We are addressing a critical need to reduce the costs, energy requirements and environmental impacts for treating unusable water. Our approach is unique. We are streamlining the funding process by asking the strongest applicants to pitch their concept," said Desalination Water Purification Research Program (DWPR) Administrator Yuliana PorrasMendoza. "This is an opportunity to take a new approach from the lab to a real-world demonstration, providing products that serve the water treatment community and attract commercial interest." Read More

  • News - Awards

    Reclamation awards $5.1 million in research for new ways to desalinate and treat water


    (July 15, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation announced that 30 projects will receive $5.1 million from the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to develop improved and inexpensive ways to desalinate and treat impaired water.

    "We are awarding grants to a diverse group of projects to reduce the cost, energy consumption and environmental impacts of treating impaired or otherwise unusable water for local communities across the country,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “This funding is a direct result of the Trump Administration’s commitment to increase water supply and delivery through improved technology.” Twenty-five awards are for laboratory-scale projects, which are typically bench scale studies involving small flow rates. They are used to determine the viability of a novel process, new materials or process modifications. Awards are limited to $150,000.

    Read More
    Project Descriptions

  • DWPR Education - WEFTEC IKE Video

    Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility video selected for 2019 WEFTEC Interactive Knowledge Exchange


    (June 20, 2019) The Bureau of Reclamation's video "Making Desal Cool: How Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility Teaches 3rd Graders the Science of Turning Salty Water into Freshwater" has been selected for the 2019 Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition Conference (WEFTEC) Interactive Knowledge Exchange (IKE).

    The Water Environment Foundation (WEF) is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals. This year's WEFTEC - the world's largest water-quality event - takes place in Chicago, IL during September 21-25, 2019. IKEs are short videos utilizing a creative combination of sound and visual imagery to convey a concentrated message.

    The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF) is a test-bed for developing, validating, and demonstrating a wide variety of technologies for desalting water. In addition to this work, BGNDRF has honed its outreach education efforts teaching students in a fun and interactive event called “Discovering Desal.”

    Since 2016, over 2,000 third graders have visited BGNDRF during Discovering Desal and participated in learning stations related to the importance of fresh water, how water becomes salty, using reverse osmosis and electrical charges to remove dissolved salts from water, how renewable energy powers desalination technologies, and more. The event reaches all third graders in the Alamogordo Public School system, as well as private schools, homeschool groups, and students from the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Discovering Desal also includes an on-the-road event for summer school students to small towns near the eastern border of New Mexico.

    The IKE video production was a collaborative effort across Reclamation's Research and Development Office, the Washington Public Affairs Office, and BGNDRF staff and volunteers. For more information about Discovering Desal, contact Randy Shaw, BGNDRF Facility Manager, at rshaw@usbr.gov.

  • News

    Science Students from the New Mexico School for the Blind & Visually Impaired visit Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

    Image of Students from the New Mexico School for the Blind & Visually Impaired learn about the percentage of salty, ice and fresh water on the planet during a modified lesson at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility.

    (April 29, 2019) Twenty students from Jeff Killebrew’s science class from the New Mexico School for the Blind & Visually Impaired spent a day "Discovering Desalination" at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    The group of eager students began the day by being split into three learning groups before touring the facility to experience different teaching aids. In one lesson, Facility Operations Assistant Crystal Bing designed a pie chart using glue and fabric to create tactile differences on the surface of the chart to depict salty, frozen and fresh water. Read More

  • Video

    A 10 Year History of the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility

    The Bureau of Reclamation is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on Sept. 12 and 13, 2017. The BGNDRF opened on Aug. 16, 2007, and serves as a focal point for developing technologies for the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwater. The BGNDRF sits on 43-acres in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The research facility brings together researchers from federal government agencies, universities, the private sector, research organizations, and state and local agencies to work collaboratively and in partnership on cost-effective advancements of desalination technologies.

  • Video

    Water for Our Future: Reclamation's Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility


Last Updated: 5/8/20