2010 Desalination Laboratory
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One of the WERC judges invited us to visit his place of employment, the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and we took him up on it on our last full day in New Mexico.  The facility is located in Alamogordo, about an hour east of Las Cruces. 

The idea of the facility is that government, private, or university researchers wishing to conduct research on new water desalination techniques can set up their experiments here, right in the center of the area where water desalination is most needed.  The facility can provide much of an experiment's needed infrastructure.

 

Sign out by the road.  The name of the place is a mouthful.  An employee of the facility who also served as a judge at the contest kindly invited us to visit if we had the time, which we did.

 
 
Front entrance.  The facility sits off by itself on the edge of town, and it was pretty much deserted when we visited on a Wednesday morning in late March.  But there was one staffer on duty who met us and showed us around.
 
 
Interior bay area.  Several small experiments were set up by various researchers.  There are also offices and small labs in the front of the building.
 
 
Experiments could also be set up and run outdoors.  Several wells bringing in brackish water were around the site and could be tapped into.
 
 
More outdoor research facilities.
 
 
Close-ups of a couple of the experiments (above and below).