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

Additional Funding Opportunities

From time to time, WRF partners with other organizations to support key funding opportunities. This helps to promote sound science that moves the water industry forward, while eliminating duplication of research efforts. 

Pathogen Monitoring Challenge – Stage 1

Bureau of Reclamation

Award: $80,000
Deadline: August 8, 2018

This Challenge seeks to identify new or improved methods for monitoring pathogens, specifically viruses, to facilitate the indirect and direct reuse of municipal wastewater for potable uses as a means to alleviate water shortages and expand current water supplies. In indirect potable reuse, treated wastewater enters an environmental buffer, such as a stream, reservoir or groundwater aquifer, intended for use as a drinking water source.  This reuse may be de facto (in effect) or engineered (intentional) with the latter involving advanced water treatment prior to the environmental buffer. In direct potable reuse, the environmental buffer is removed and treated wastewater undergoes advanced water treatment in an engineered system prior to reuse as a drinking water source. Solutions must improve on the current state of technology for either direct virus monitoring in wastewater or surrogate monitoring of reverse osmosis process integrity. Areas of needed improvement include: sampling time, measurement accuracy and measurement sensitivity.

This is Stage 1 of a planned two-stage Challenge, with the second stage consisting of a prototype demonstration and a larger prize purse. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is the Seeker for this Challenge, and Xylem, Inc. is a co-sponsor of this Challenge contributing to all aspects of this Challenge including the prize purse. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Water Research Foundation are collaborating on various aspects of this Challenge such as design, technical review, judging, and promotion. The California State Water Resource Control Board is contributing to the design and judging of this Challenge.

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