It’s time for a water-treatment revolution.


Water and energy are inextricably linked, yet in our 20th-century water systems we use freshwater once then throw it away. With innovations designed to enhance desalination technologies, agricultural runoff, produced water from industry, and inland brackish groundwater that are now seen as untreatable could all be sources of clean, safe, and affordable water.


We are the National Alliance for Water Innovation.

The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) is a research consortium formed in 2017 to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy to create the Energy-Water Desalination Hub. NAWI envisions an affordable, energy-efficient, and resilient water supply for the U.S. economy through decentralized, small-scale, fit-for-purpose desalination.

the nawi research consortium

3 founding national laboratories

NAWI was founded by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 2017. It is headquartered at Berkeley Lab.

10 founding industry partners

NAWI’s Industry Advisory Council is led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which has supported water treatment research for decades. The Water Research Foundation and ExxonMobil are also partners.

19 founding university partners

NAWI's integrated research team includes prize-winning and nationally recognized water treatment researchers with established records of working with industry.


The NAWI Alliance

Surrounding the NAWI Research Consortium is the NAWI Alliance, a community of nearly 200 public- and private-sector organizations concerned about the future of water treatment and the stability of water supplies to U.S. industries and communities.

Any organization or individual with a demonstrated commitment to advancing the state of the art of water treatment is eligible to join the NAWI Alliance. Membership provides benefits such as access to results of NAWI research and invitations to participate in technology roadmapping with science and industry leaders.


Desalination Reimagined.

What if our nation’s industries could mine wastewater from industrial processes for valuable elements and compounds? What if coastal communities could desalinate ocean water at a cost and energy use comparable to other traditional water sources? What if our domestic energy industries could treat and reuse produced water for further oil and gas production as well as for other uses? What if our power producers could remove contaminants from power plant wastewater and encapsulate them in a nonhazardous solid form? What if, rather than use fresh water once and then throw it away we could use it again and again and again?

Nontraditional water sources offer the United States a huge opportunity to create a stable and resilient water supply for industry, agriculture, and communities—but this advancement demands new technologies.



Our goal is to accelerate transformative research to lower the cost and energy required to produce clean water from nontraditional water sources.

the challenge

Realizing the economic, energy efficiency, and water-security benefits that a revolution in the treatment of nontraditional water sources could provide will take a paradigm shift in how we think about treating water.


The NAWI vision encompasses a shift from custom-built large, centralized facilities to distributed, modular water-treatment systems mass-produced with 21st-century manufacturing innovations.

the strategy

To achieve this vision, NAWI will harness and integrate DOE's strengths in computations, materials science and manufacturing, and data science and fundamental process discovery.



The NAWI research targets include:

• High-efficiency brine crystallization

• Biological corrosion control

• Water recycling for power plants

• Solar-powered desalination technologies

• Demand-responsive water supplies for agriculture

• Low-cost sensors and autonomous water treatment


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Get Involved

There are several ways to get involved with NAWI.


Become a research or industry partner

We are partnering with scientists and engineers at leading universities and industry to pursue the most promising areas of water treatment research and development.

Join the NAWI Alliance

Individuals or groups from any U.S. organization with an interest in advancing water treatment science and technology can apply for Alliance membership.

Contact NAWI

Contact us with any questions about the National Alliance for Water Innovation, the NAWI Research Consortium, or the NAWI Alliance.