Lauds Water Purification Work in Gulf Region, Receives Update
on Sandia Lab H2O Projects
September 13, 2005
WASHINGTON – U.S.
Senator Pete Domenici today praised
the work being done by the Bureau of Reclamation and
the U.S Navy in the Gulf region to purify
water in support of medical needs in response to the destruction
caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and U.S. Navy mobilized
two identical water desalination and purification systems known as the Expeditionary
Unit for Water Purification (EUWP) for use along the Gulf Coast.
The EUWP can purify contaminated and saline waters to better-than-EPA
drinking water standards, and the two units jointly can produce up to 200,000
gallons per day. The BOR unit has been deployed to Pascagoula,
Miss. while the Navy’s unit will be sent to Bay St. Louis,
"The importance of water purification programs is driven home when natural
disasters such as Hurricane Katrina strike. I am extremely pleased that desalination
research has progressed to the point where it can help save lives, provide basic
services and make an unbearable situation a little better. I am very pleased
that both BOR and Navy units have been deployed
to the Gulf Region, where they are helping to provide safe water for people who
need it,” Domenici said.
The EUWP units were designed and constructed by the Office
of Naval Research. Domenici is a major supporter of
the EUWP programs and has secured $23 million for the Navy to
develop these mobile systems for high-capacity water production for use in expeditionary
warfare, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions.
chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Subcommittee, Domenici has obtained
$16 million for construction of the Tularosa Basin Desalination
Facility. Upon completion, it is anticipated that the Bureau
of Reclamation will select a New Mexico based
institution to manage the Tularosa facility and guide its research
Domenici was briefed today on the recently initiated Department
of Energy desalination research program implemented by Sandia
National Laboratories. The lab has received $7 million over the past
two years to dramatically improve water treatment technology. Sandia's desalination
program was initiated to prepare new prototypes for testing at the Tularosa
Facility and to develop national research plans to guide the work of the federal
and non-federal agencies working in this area. This program was formalized
in the recently signed Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Sandia is working on a variety of new technologies, including
those that will take waste material out of water to make it usable. Dealing
with these energy and waste disposal issues are paramount for making desalination
a viable alternative for water supplies in New Mexico. Sandia is
partnered with several other New Mexico institutions including:
the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, MIOX Corporation,
New Mexico State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Technology
“ Desalination is just getting started in New Mexico.
If we look around the West, we can see many examples of desalination technology
at work. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that when New
Mexico needs this source of water it will be affordable and feasible
for our communities,” Domenici said.