National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) Technology Roadmap: Resource Extraction Sector

Tzahi Cath, Shankar Chellam, Lynn Katz, Richard Breckenridge, Carolyn Cooper, Kirk Ellison, Jordan Macknick, Cameron McKay, Keisha Miller, Jason Monnell, Nalini Rao, James Rosenblum, David Sedlak, Jennifer Stokes-Draut

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) is a research consortium formed to accelerate transformative research in desalination and treatment to lower the cost and energy required to produce clean water from nontraditional water sources and realize a circular water economy. NAWI’s goal is to enable the manufacturing of energy-efficient desalination technologies in the United States at a lower cost with the same (or higher) quality and reduced environmental impact for 90percent of nontraditional water sources within the next 10 years. The nontraditional source waters of interest include brackish water; seawater; produced and extracted water; power, mining, industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste waters. When these desalination and treatment technologies are fully developed and utilized, they will be able to contribute to the water needs for many existing end-use sectors. NAWI has identified five end-use sectors that are critical to the U.S. economy for further exploration: Power, Resource Extraction, Industry, Municipal, and Agriculture (PRIMA). This Resource Extraction Sector roadmap aims to advance desalination and treatment of nontraditional source waters for beneficial use in public water supplies by identifying research and development (R&D) opportunities that help overcome existing treatment challenges. Under NAWI’s vision, the transition from a linear to a circular water economy with nontraditional source waters will be achieved by advancing desalination and reuse technologies in six key areas: Autonomous operations, Precision separations, Resilient treatment and transport, Intensified brine management, Modular membrane systems, and Electrified treatment systems, collectively known as the A-PRIME areas. Technological advances in these different areas will enable nontraditional source waters to achieve pipe parity with traditional supplies.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages130
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-79895

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102021-5567


  • challenges
  • desalination
  • National Alliance for Water Innovation
  • NAWI
  • NAWI baseline
  • nontraditional source water
  • resource extraction
  • roadmap
  • treatment


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