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Water Security Grand Challenge Webinar Series

This page includes a series of webinars that highlights the Water Security Grand Challenge, a framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. The webinars will provide a platform to share knowledge and information related to the Challenge, and build community among the U.S. Department of Energy leaders, partners, leading innovators, and the public.

The ongoing series will continue to be updated with information regarding future webinars, as well as videos of previous webinars.

Upcoming Events and Webinars


Future of Water Innovation and Infrastructure Virtual Summit

October 27 and October 28, 2020

Join us for a 2-day virtual summit in coordination with the White House Office of American Innovation, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Council on Environmental Quality. On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 12:30–5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern, the summit will focus on future of water infrastructure and innovation in the United States, and the role of the DOE and other Federal agencies in supporting research and invention to achieve a more water secure future. 

For more information and to register, go here

Past Events and Webinars

Wastewater Resource Recovery Webinar

September 21, 2020

On Monday, September 21, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, the Water Security Grand Challenge held a webinar on the Wastewater Resource Recovery Prize (WRRP), including Phase I winners,  competition goals, and how those goals support DOE’s WSGC.

This webinar is a resource about:
     ●   WRRP’s goals and how they support the DOE’s WSGC;
     ●   Phase I winners and their proposed technological solutions;
     ●   Wastewater resource recovery options;
     ●   Potential opportunities for leveraging and/or replicating these solutions.

Video coming soon. 

Waves to Water Webinar

August 25, 2020

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Security Grand Challenge hosted a webinar on the Waves to Water Prize. The Waves to Water Prize was the first prize announced as part of the Water Security Grand Challenge, and is focused on advancing transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for secure and affordable water.

The Waves to Water Prize is a 5-stage, $3.3 million contest to accelerate the development of small, modular, wave-powered desalination systems capable of providing potable drinking water in disaster relief scenarios and remote coastal locations. The prize supports the integration of existing and novel wave energy generation technologies with water technologies that can deliver effective, consistent, durable and low-maintenance water delivery systems.

This webinar covered the research motivation and initial findings in wave powered desalination, the structure and intent of the prize, future stages of the prize, and how stakeholders can get involved in the prize. The webinar also featured the 17 winners of the $1 million DESIGN Stage. Speakers on this webinar included:

  • Scott Jenne, Lead Researcher, Wave Powered Desalination, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Jenny Wiegele, Prize Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Jennifer Garson, Waves to Water Prize Lead, Office of Energy Efficiency and Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office.

The prize is currently in its third stage, ADAPT, which offers $800,000 in cash prizes awarded to winning contestants for innovative concepts and designs of wave-powered desalination systems. The prize will conclude in April 2022, culminating in an open water testing competition at Jennette’s Pier in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where the systems will produce clean water using the power of waves.


National Alliance for Water Innovation Webinar

July 22, 2020

This webinar is a resource on National Alliance for Water Innovation’s (NAWI’s) research goals and how those goals support DOE’s WSGC.

NAWI leads DOE’s Energy-Water Desalination Hub, bringing together industry and academic partners to help reduce the cost and energy use of desalination technologies through early-stage applied research. NAWI’s five-year research program is guided by an annual roadmapping process designed to engage stakeholders; an annual request-for-proposal process to solicit research ideas; and systems-level data, analyses, and tool development.

During this webinar you will learn more about:

  • NAWI’s integrated data and modeling system and how it can be used
  • NAWI’s upcoming request for proposals
  • How organizations can join NAWI
  • How NAWI envisions working with other federal sectors and state governments.

Video of the webinar coming soon. 

Federal Water Finance Programs

June 10, 2020

This webinar is a resource to learn about innovation and the federal finance programs for the nation’s water infrastructure. The webinar features four leaders who manage and direct America’s water resources:  

  • Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Dave Ross, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Dr. Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Chad Rupe, Administrator for Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Video of the webinar coming soon! Click here to see the slides from the webinar presentation.  

National Water Reuse Action Plan Webinar

November 9, 2019

In February 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the draft National Water Reuse Action Plan. DOE’s Water Security Grand Challenge interests align closely with the plan, with 3 of the 5 Challenge goals focusing on reuse. This webinar is a resource to learn about the draft of the National Water Reuse Plan, and how it relates to the Water Security Grand Challenge. Both the plan and the Challenge are working to ensure we have access to clean, safe, and affordable water.

View the webinar below.

Webinar 2 – EPA National Water Reuse Action Plan
Description: Learn about the National Water Reuse Action Plan.

Review the presentation slides here.

Kickoff Webinar

The first in the series, this webinar is a resource to learn about the Water Security Grand Challenge. This webinar presents the five Challenge goals:

  1. Launch desalination technologies that deliver cost-competitive clean water.
  2. Transform the energy sector’s produced water from a waste to a resource.
  3. Achieve near-zero water impact for thermoelectric power plants, and significantly lower freshwater use intensity within the existing fleet.  
  4. Double resource recovery from municipal wastewater.
  5. Develop small, modular energy-water systems for urban, rural, tribal, national security, and disaster response settings.

The webinar provides information on the background, objectives, funding opportunities, and prize development for each goal.  Listen to the webinar by clicking on the video below.

Water Security Grand Challenge (WSGC) Kickoff Webinar
Description: Learn about the Water Security Grand Challenge.

Review the presentation slides here.