Open Requests

WRF funds water research on behalf of its subscribers, and facilitates collaboration among organizations seeking funding partners for high-priority issues. WRF awards a contract through a competitive process and coordinates an independent technical review project through a staff-assigned project manager. All qualified entities – including international organizations and disadvantaged business enterprises – are encouraged to submit research proposals.  

Submit a proposal for the Emerging Opportunities Program

Instructions for submitting a proposal for this program are contained in the RFP. Learn more about this program.


Submit a proposal for the Solicited/Focus Area Program Online

The Water Research Foundation utilizes an online proposal management system. To begin the process of submitting a proposal online, you will need login credentials and the name or RFP# of the project for which you want to submit a proposal. To ensure successful submission, visit the proposal management system and claim your login credentials using the "Request a Login" link. Please know, it can take up-to 48 business hours to provide credentials to new users. 

Early Submission of proposals and supporting documents is highly encouraged. 

Please visit for more information on preparing a proposal.

Considerations and Blending Strategies for Drinking Water System Integration with Alternative Water Supplies (4953)
The objectives of this project are to:
• Identify and evaluate impacts of alternative water supplies, such as potable reuse, on the water quality of the end users’ existing drinking water systems that have known issues with tuberculation (e.g., corrosion, biological regrowth, Legionella, aesthetics, biofilm).
• Understand impacts of blending ratios of alternative water supplies, including potable reuse, at a full-scale system into existing treated water on a variety of issues (e.g., nitrification, total chlorine residual, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate).
• Develop management strategies and options to mitigate adverse impacts.

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Integration of High Frequency Performance Data for Microbial and Contaminant Control in Potable Reuse Treatment Systems (4954)
The main goal of this project is to evaluate the integration of performance data and statistical process control into potable reuse operations. Specific objectives are as follows:
• To evaluate the integration of performance data and statistical process control (e.g., control charts, advanced data analytics) into potable reuse treatment systems operations.
• To identify important critical monitoring and control points to collect data and further evaluate potable reuse system performance.
• To evaluate the use of a variety of data analysis methods and anomaly detection systems.
• To evaluate various monitoring strategies to generate high-frequency performance data.
• To develop recommendations to design potable reuse treatment process monitoring and control systems to process and utilize real-time data.
• To develop recommendations for the evaluation, selection, design, and commissioning of monitoring networks utilizing feasible technologies such as online water quality monitoring instrumentation and process control monitoring.

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Indicator Viruses to Confirm Performance of Advanced Physical Treatment (4955)

The main goal of this project is to identify and evaluate potential viral indicator(s) for assessing the performance of physical treatment processes during advanced water treatment for potable reuse. Specific objectives are as follows:
• To review and summarize existing research evaluating pathogen and indicator virus concentration and removal by physical treatment processes, including, but not limited to, media filtration, membrane filtration, soil aquifer treatment through spreading and injection.
• To select and recommend viral indicator or pathogen for use in physical treatment process evaluation. Provide reasoning, considering cost, technical requirements, and literature support.
• To collect data to determine source concentration and log reduction values (e.g., culture-, RNA-, DNA-based, etc.) of selected viruses from full-scale treatment processes and aquifer recharge projects.
• To recommend, where possible, potential online surrogate(s) that may correlate with full-scale virus data. Important considerations include data interpretation, statistical design, cost, etc.

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

New Techniques, Tools, and Validation Protocols for Achieving Log Removal Credit across NF and RO Membranes (4958)

Project Objectives
• Identify methods and procedures for validation of nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane integrity that will sufficiently provide regulators with confidence to award appropriate Log Removal Values (LRVs) for the technology.
• Supplement and provide additional support for the results from the WRF project, Standard Methods for Integrity Testing and On-line Monitoring of NF and RO Membranes (Reuse-12-07).
• Perform extensive challenge testing of high pressure membranes under a variety of conditions (e.g., oxidized membrane, chemically clean membrane, new membrane) to determine and verify pathogen log removal efficiencies.
• Simultaneously evaluate chemicals, particles, or other indicators (ex: electrical conductivity) to assess the possible relationships in monitoring and removal efficiency.
• Consider the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques to measure pathogen reductions across membrane treatment processes as a method to validate real-time or near real-time monitoring methods.

Proposals Due:
December 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Review of Industrial Contaminants Associated with Water Quality or Adverse Performance Impacts for Potable Reuse Treatment (4960)

WRF is currently funding research to better understand the contaminants and compounds from industries that impact the effectiveness of treatment for potable reuse. Limited research has been completed to date linking the identification of specific contaminants to water quality after advanced water treatment (AWT) and identifying how these contaminants can be mitigated effectively. Specific objectives of this project include:
•  Identify contaminants or families of compounds related to industry or manufacturing (e.g., low molecular weight compounds, pharmaceuticals, CECs, etc.), and review the types of industries that may consume or discharge these compounds
•  Group listed contaminants in terms of risk to water quality (public health and aesthetic) and impact to advanced treatment effectiveness (e.g., loss of throughput, disruption of monitoring, impact on treatment efficacy, etc.)
•  Develop mitigation strategies including, but not limited to, treatment, inspection frequency and methodology, and monitoring requirements

Proposals Due: December 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

The Use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Technologies and Metagenomics Approaches to Evaluate Water and Wastewater Quality Monitoring and Treatment Technologies (4961)

The objective of this project is to identify applications for NGS and metagenomics tools that have the most potential for use in a utility monitoring program. This will include a literature survey to document existing approaches, identification of QA/QC and standardized protocols, and case studies to demonstrate applicability and usefulness of the technologies.

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Developing a New Foundational Understanding of SAR-Soil Structure Interactions to Provide Management Options for Recycled Water Use in Agriculture (4963)
The objectives of this research project are to:
• Obtain a better understanding of sodium absorption ratio (SAR)/electro-conductivity (EC) interactions between recycled water and specific soils parameters (e.g., textural classes, mineralogy, soil organic matter [SOM] content)
• Achieve increased understanding of specific plant-soil interactions as affected by irrigation with recycled water.

Proposals Due: December 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Design Considerations for Integrating Public Engagement at Demonstration Facilities (4979)

Project Objective/Research Question:
What are the best practices for integrating public education and engagement elements at potable reuse demonstration facilities?

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)

Obstacles and Solutions for Risk-Based Planning for Smaller Utilities and Limited Budgets (4970)
The objectives of this projects are to:
• Assess the specific challenges in adopting planning frameworks that consider sustainability, resilience, and reliability at smaller utilities that may have limited staff time, expertise, funds, or other site-specific issues.
• Recommend strategies for making risk-based planning more accessible to those utilities.

Proposals Due: December 19, 2018 at 4:00 PM ET (2:00 PM MT)