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THE NA;T!ONAL ACADEMIES ~~ . Fives ~ an Scientist f~gi~een~g, aniMed~it`~e The Honorable John W. :Keys? Ill Commissioner Bureau of Reciamation U.S. Department ofthe Interior 1849 ~ Street' NT.W. Washington, D.~. 20240 Dear Mr. Keys: Water Science and Technology Board 5QO Fifth Street, NW Washington, [:)C 20001 Phone: 202 334 3422 Fax: 2Q2 334 1961 wow. nationalacaden~es.or~fwstb Bane :12, 2003 The Rational Research Council (NRC) is pleased to provide this `'1etter report', on the Desalination arid Water Purification Technology Roa'~map~ (RQaUWaP3 developed by the Bureau of RecIa~nation with support fro no the Sandia National Laboratories as suggested by Congress in the 2Q02 Energy and Water Development Appropriation Bill. YQUr letter dated October 29' Q02 to the Water Science and Technology Boar~i (WSTB3 asked for a critical evaluation of the desalination Road~ap' which is intended to serve as a guide fUr fede:~t agencies and other public and private organizations in their desalination research and technology invest: decisions.2 In response? the IS WSIB created the Committee {Q Review the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap to condt~ct the review. Committee members anct ARC staff are listed in Attachment A. The committees Statement of Task is provided in Attachment B. The results of the ARC review are intended to aid yQUf QNgQing effods to develop a national' broadly supposed plan for desalination research investments. This letter reports as explicitly requested by (lee Bureau of Reclamation, provides an initial assessment of whether the FtQadmap presents "an appropriate and effective course to help address ~~e freshwater needs in the United States'' (addressing task #l of the Statement of Task; see Attachment By. C)ur assessment is focused ore the Desalination and Water Purification ~ For the purpose of this report, ~e tenn `'Road~nap,, is used to describe ~e Desalination and Water P~:~rificalion Technology Roadn~ap, which was also called the Desalination Technology Progress Plan and the Desalination Research Roadmap in previous versions of the document and rciated correspondence. According to the Roadl:nap report' the Roadmap is a `'~ritical technology roadrnap,' that is intended to serve as a high- strategic pathway far future desalination arid water purification research. As such, the Roadmap calls attention to future needs for dcYelopmer~t in (cchnology7 provides ~ structure for organizing technology Precasts and programs7 and attempts to i~:~prove Tic on~munication between the msearch and development community and end mers ~~t A~ - ~ =~s ~ NA~t A=~ - off ~~:~G ~ t:~t 1~6 Go' mo~E ~ N<~ p~H mUNctt

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-2- Technolo~ Roadmap3 that was published irr Janua~ 2003 and augmented by presentations to the co~n~nittee at its first meeting on May 12-13' 2003.4 The committee has yet to complete its analysis based on the remaining review questions listed in the State~nent of Task (#2-6, Attachment B), but these wit! be addressed in a final repod' pawned to be released in the fall of 2003. Initial Assessment Based on ~ careful review and discussion of the Roads repon and related presentations and the initial deliberations of the committee at its first meeting, we conclude that a national research plan for desalination and water purification techr~ology is important and necessary to help Fleet the nations fu~re water neecTs.5 6 The potential for desalination technologies to become major components of Mare water supply ~nanagement throughout the United States justiOes ~ careful research and development strategy to nurture novel ideas and facilitate technological advancements. We strongly reco~nmend the continuation of these activities anct commend the Bureau of RecIa~ation and Sandia Rational Laboratories for p{QVi~ing the lea~iership in this important national initiative. :Nrevenheless' we present some recommendations that we hope will strengthen the Road~ap document anct better reflect the underlying ``raadm~ping process'' that the report Opts {Q summarize. For example, based on the contents of the published Roadmap' we suggest that ~ more accurate title ~r the effort would have heen the ``Desalinatio:r~ and Me~rane-Based Water Purification Technology Research Roadmap.'' The committee believes that emphasis of this effort should be QU research to support advances in technology; therefore, the title of the initiative should again include research (see also Footnote T). Fu~hennore' the tenn ``Water purifi~tion7' includes ~ wide range of water treatment technologies and processes that are more often related to conventions! water treat~nent plants than to desalination or desalination pre- and post-treatment. These technologies, such as granular media filtration and chlorination, were never the Ecus of the research planning effort. With these i:rnpo~ant 3 AS. Bureau af Recian~tion and Sandia National Laboratories. 2003. Desalination and Water P~=~fication Technology Roadmap; A Repod of the Executive Committee. Desaltnat~on & Water Purthication Research 8: Development Report 495 Bureau of RecIamation' Water Treatment and En~ineerir~ Given Denver CQ. The ~ ~ , a ~ ,~ ~ , ~ ~ ~ . , . _ .. . . . . . ~ _ , . . 8uFC8U 0( RecIan~tion and Sandia National Laboratories -Lance an Executive Committee and ~ Working G[DL1P (collectively Mown as the Roadn~apping Deane comprised of representatives from government' industry' academia' and private and non-profit sectors' including water utilities' to hcip 40VCiQ~ ~ desalination technology progress plan. This large number o~rcseal~chers and managers participated in the roadmapping activity through a series of collaborative workshops organized and ond~d by Sandia National Laboratories offing 2002 to help identify and rank future desalination and water purificatior~ research goals and objccti~fes. The Roadmap report is a product of the Executive Committee. The committees first meeting included presentations Cone the Bureau of Rectamation (the study sponsors)' Sandia tiQ~) Laboratories, and other Hers Lithe Road~napping Jeans on May 12' 2QQ3 and during a s-takeholder workshop held on May in 2003. These presentations were intended to brick the committee on Tic Roadmap's development, expected users, and follow-up activities; help Came the t58~0S7 and in- the committee of activities Q; 0~CE federal' state' and local entities engaged in desal~on and water purification research and development. s A previous ARC report' Envisioning the legends for Aster Resoa`~es Re$ea~rh in the Twenty-First Center published in Cool 7 BOONS that the development and impiementat~on of increasingly cost-competitive desalination technologies deserves increased consideration on the nation's water resources research agenda. & "Water 2025- Preventing Crises and Con Dict in the West7" a recently launched initiative by Me U.~. Department of Tic Interior, includes among its six guiding principies7 '`~nprove water treatment technology, such as desalination' to helo increase water supply,' to address Mare water needs (see ht~.//w~w.doi'g;ov/water2025/~.

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3 clarifications' the committee concludes that this Road~nap and its underlying process appear to present an appropriate framework for advancing research in several areas of desalination and water purificatior~ technology to help address figure water needs in all regions of the United States. The effectiveness of the Roadmap will ultimately depend ore its figure implementation and as described below, plans for implementing the Roadmap are not yet resolved. This letter tCpQrt details several other recommended changes to improve the effectiveness of the Roam. One primary concem was the overarching vision for the effort, which appears to stray into formulation of national water policy rather than remaining focused on a research plan to address desalination and water purification technologies anc! associated economic and public health issues related to Thee national water supply needs. The Road~nap would also be improved with explanations of targets for critical research objectives, a more comprehensive and detailed presentation of desalination technology needs' and a process for research prioritization' selection, and -ending. These concerns are described below, and the committees final repot :may consider these issues in greater depth. Vision AS note~ previously, the present vision statement' while intended to provide the motivation for the overall Map strays into the rearm of national water policy in ~ mater that is inconsistent with the overall tone and direction of the remainder of the report. For example' the vision statement associated with "keep water affordable', indicates that fugue water supplies so strive to keep water prices '`at -rates co~nparabic to that of today'' (as actually stated in the report). Instead' the vision statement should remain focused on the roadmapping of research and technology efforts that co-ed contribute to future water supply needs and thereby more accurately reflect the contents and discussion contained in the body of the {OpQ~. The committee believes that a more suitable vision statement would confer to the reader that desalination and water purification technologies will provide an important contribution to the clevelopnaent of water supplies for the United States that are safe,, sustainable' fee, anct adequate. In addition, the vision statement associated with the bullet ``p~Qvide safe water', apt 4) could be improved if revised in ~ mater that :reflects public health concerns related to all applications of desalination and water purification. For example, as impaired waters are increasingly employed in the future such as municipal and industrial wastewater streams containing complex mixtures of chemical and microbiological contaminants the committee questions whether me3~10rane desalination technologies alone will be appropriate or adequate for p[Q6~CiOg Saw drinking water. Critical Objectives The Road~nap establishes ~ series of critical objectives for desalination and (largely membrane-haled) water purification technology advancements. According to the Roadmap repose critical objectives are guantifications of the United States, national~seale needs that set metrics basso called technology targets) that must be met by ~ technology if it is to play ~ role in :~eeting the nalior~,s whet needs. However' in order for these targets to be useful, they need to have ~ logic ancl origin that are readily understandable. The theoretical basis for the technology targets listed' in the Roadrnap (e.~., S() percent or SO percent cost and power reductions needed by 2020; see Tal5le 1, p. 11,) should lee clarified and referenced to the cadent state-~fethe-~ for

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-4- each of these targets. For example, the committee found the example of the cost st~cture fo:r reverse-os~nosis desalination of seamier (Figure ~ ~~ p. 5 :!~ to be very informative in explaining the cost reduction potential of various technological i:rnprovements. Some of the targets identified do not appear well founded in science and play be unachievable. The provision of rationale for the targets identified would advance the plausibility of the Roadmap. Desalination and water purification national needs are separated into near-term (by ~Q083 and mid/tong Bend critical objectives (~y 20205. The committee generally supports connecting critical objectives to such (somewhat arbitrary) timeframes. :However, we believe that while the 20Q~ timeframe is reasonable to obtain research results to SUp9Q[t desalination research needs, it will not provide enough ti~:ne to implement these research findings into desalination development efforts that are currently underway. Tech nolo views The co:~ittee concludes that the five broad areas of desalination and water purification tech:nolo~,ies (i.e.' me~nbrane, allemative, thermal' concentrate management, reuse/recycling) identified in the Road:~ap report represer~t top priority areas for research and development. An issue of concern relevant to all of them' not discussed in the repon' is corresponding energy use and air emissions (e g., carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides) resulting Mom these energy intensive technologies. These issues represent critical research areas that could influence the potential and sustained contribution of desalination technologies to meet -fixture water supply needs. The RQ36~p C00~] be strengthened as ~ whole by more thorough descriptions of the technologies and associated research opportunities' along with ~ list of technical references supporting the technologies identiOcc! in the report. In pay, the Roaclmap play Iack adequate depth in solve areas We to the notable absence of any IT, 8. Enviromnental Protection Agency personnel on the Road~ping Team' the limited number of desalination industry participants, and the absence of workup members with expertise in energy/power issues QL in the~al desalination technologies. PIm Iementation The Road~nap would be improved by including a general plan of implementation -for the research initiative. Based on the presentations and discussions with the ping Team members at the May ~ 3 workshop, we understand that; marry of these issues have been (1iscussed' but an implementation strategy for the Roadmap is It settled. The committee recommends that an i~nplernentation strategy for the Rvadmap should include mechanisms for setting priorities for research and not provide legitimization for unknown technologies without ~ documented peer- review process. This proposed research initiative should utilize the widest range of scientists ant! engineers available' anct ~ thorough peer-:review/evaluation process should be leYeloped to select and fund research proposals to ensure that the best research minds are engaged in these important issues. Because the ultimate advances in the efficiency and cost effectiveness of desalination will depend ~n :~nf6~mation transfer to the water intlust-ry' ~ framework should be outlined for levelopment of new desalination technologies. The committee further recommends that infraction should be provided to the general public and decision makers in order to maintain support for the program.

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J 1 A__ This leper repod reflects the consensus of the NRC committee and has been reviewed in accordance with the procedures of the ARC. The list of reviewers is given in Attachment C. We hope our report is useful as you move forward and appreciate the oppo~ur~ity to advise you with this impotent and challenging endeavor. Sincerely yours' r ~ 33 ~ ~ it, ,,: A' a. Slavic! Marics' Chair Commi~ee to Review the Desalination and Water Purification Techno1~ :Roadmap Attachment A: B~o=~a,oh~cal Infb~mat~on A~cibment B: Statement of Task Attachment C Cast of Reviewers