ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Congressman Gabe Vasquez announced Wednesday that $12.6M from the federal government will go to a desalination research facility in Alamogordo. The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility is used to study brackish groundwater desalination, the use of renewable energy in the process, creating systems for desalination in rural and Tribal communities, and the treatment of water from oil and gas production. The facility is the only major research facility in the United States dedicated solely to the desalination of brackish and impaired groundwaters.

“As we work to implement historic funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are looking to cutting-edge and innovative solutions to support Western communities in the face of record drought and climate change. “Investments in desalination, water treatment, and reuse are critical as we work to safeguard community water supplies and expand access to clean, reliable drinking water for families, farmers, and Tribes,” said Secretary Haaland in a news release.

The facility plans to use the allocated funding for an advanced water treatment facility to remove PFAS substances that were discovered at an evaporation pond in 2018 and two wells at the facility in 2019. The plan is to restore access to the two wells which would help lighten the load on the other two wells. Funding for the project comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.