The Desal Prize: A brackish water desalination technology competition

Title: The Desal Prize – A brackish water desalination technology competition
Orgnsiation: Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development and the United States Bureau of Reclamation
Application deadline: 1 August 2014
Apply/Further information: The Desal Prize

Description: On March 21, 2014, the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development and the United States Bureau of Reclamation announced the launch of the Desal Prize. The second call for proposals under Securing Water for Food, the Desal Prize aims to incentivize the creation of an environmentally sustainable small-scale brackish water desalination system that can provide potable water for humans, as well as water appropriate for crops in developing countries.

The winning innovation will be selected based on its fulfillment of several criteria, including:

  • Provides water that is both potable and appropriate for crop irrigation
  • Powered solely by renewable energy
  • High system water % recovery and concentrate minimization
  •  Minimizes environmental impact
  • And is cost efficient, durable, and easy to maintain 

The Desal Prize is seeking small-scale, household farming level brackish water desalination systems that can efficiently and reliably provide desalinated water for human consumption and agriculture purposes. It is seeking desalination technology that may be powered solely by renewable energy which will work in rural or remote regions in developing countries. In these regions, grid or diesel-based electrification is often not geographically or economically feasible. In addition to providing drinking water for humans, this technology will provide water with the optimal composition for crop irrigation while minimizing environmental impact from concentrate waste.

Reasons to apply

The Desal Prize will be awarded to environmentally sustainable working proto-types that can be used for small-scale brackish water desalination in developing countries. Up to 10 Semi-Finalists will receive seed money to build a prototype or further develop their device which will be tested in a controlled testing facility. Top performing devices from this group will be selected as Finalists and will receive additional seed money to continue optimization of their project for field testing before a judging panel selects the awardee(s) to receive a total of $400,000.