Water is a critical resource for human health, economic growth, and agricultural productivity. The United States has historically benefitted from access to low-cost water supplies, but challenges for freshwater supplies could threaten U.S. economic competitiveness and water security. Significantly for DOE, present day water and energy systems are interdependent.

The Water Security Grand Challenge is a White House initiated, U.S. Department of Energy led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. Using a coordinated suite of prizes, competitions, early-stage research and development, and other programs, the Grand Challenge has set the following goals for the United States to reach by 2030:


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