The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $27.5 million for 16 water infrastructure projects across 13 states, the department announced on Monday.
These projects will tackle several objectives, including developing widely applicable treatment processes to produce renewable power, extract chemicals and fertilizers, and reuse water locally, while simultaneously minimizing energy consumption and waste generation.
These projects have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and water-treatment costs while improving water quality and the equity of distribution nationwide, the DOE said.
"Each team will work to bring new water and wastewater treatment technologies from the applied research and development stage to commercial readiness," the department explained.
The projects involve “evaluating flexible grid service for opportunities to generate biopower from wastewater, deploying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive process controls to improve resilience and efficiency."
Their objectives are to address environmental justice and social inequities produced by lack of access to clean water among rural and native communities as well as improving wastewater-treatment options for agriculture and livestock.
According to the department, the next-generation innovations it is investing in will lower costs while increasing access to clean water for Americans in a “drive toward a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future.”
By Gulsen Cagatay