Advance Notice

Proposal Management System

The RFPs listed below will eventually be available through our proposal management system. Follow the unique project specific link to the submission form within the RFP and complete the information presented.

Call for Volunteers

We are currently seeking Project Advisory Committee (PAC) volunteers to help review and refine the RFPs listed below, review submitted proposals, monitor research progress and results, and review and approve final project deliverables. Visit Participate in Research to learn more about volunteering.

Upcoming RFPs

The list of concepts below were approved by the Research Advisory Council. We expect to have all RFPs posted by late September, 2022.

Learn more about our Open RFPs

  • Developing Sustainable Technologies and Assessing Innovative Treatment Options for Biosolids

    Budget

    $175,000

    Objective

    Identify and evaluate technologies and approaches for solids management, including PFAS destruction.

  • State of the Science and Regulatory Acceptability for PFAS Residual Management Options

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Identify currently available PFAS residual management options and inform utilities of their suitability under various operational and regulatory circumstances.
    • Convene a workshop with regulators and utilities to validate regulatory acceptability of various management approaches.
  • Cost-effective Approaches for Control of Multiple Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs)

    Budget

    $250,000

    Objective

    • Establish cost effective strategies for the best management practices/control for PFAS multiple contaminants and CECs in all water sources.
    • Provide benefit/cost guidance to utilities in determining viable treatment options at the WTTP or the source. If protection measures are implemented at the source, the research would guide the selection of the most cost- effective practices.
  • Cost-Effective PFAS Mitigation Strategies for Communities

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    Develop and establish cost effective strategies for the best management practices/control for PFAS in all water sources.

  • Feasibility of Full-Scale Implementation of LED UV Disinfection

    Budget

    $250,000

    Objective

    • Evaluate the effectiveness of UV LED light for microbial inactivation.
    • Assess the feasibility of using UV LED light at treatment plants.
  • Applicability of Remote Sensing Technology for Water Quality Monitoring and Ecological Assessment

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Assess the ability of these data to detect meaningful change and to inform real-time operations.
    • Understand and define the reliability and resolution of these methods and conduct ground truthing to verify performance.
  • Navigating One Water Planning through Municipal Water Programs: Meeting Multiple Objectives and Regulatory Challenges

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    • Apply One Water planning principles and approaches in multiple municipal programs and holistic watershed management that need to meet both environmental objectives and inter-connected regulatory requirements (e.g., CWA and SDWA).
    • Create a decision framework that can help describe a roadmap of inter-connected projects and initiatives at utilities.
    • Facilitate the engagement with the regulatory agencies to proactively identify the priorities and the benefits of relative actions.
  • Integrating Climate Change Impacts with Wet Weather Management, Capital Improvement, and Stream Network Enhancement

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    • Enhance precipitation projection and modeling techniques with risk-based criteria to mitigate risks for utilities (e.g., sewer overflows, flooding, stream network deterioration).
    • Create research related to best practice for climate change rainfall statistics and projections by region.
    • Advance the risk-based approach and adapt water infrastructure systems and enhance the protection of stream networks to meet water quantity and quality requirements under changing climate.
  • Preparing the Water Sector to Embrace Technology: Skillsets and Enterprise Management Approaches for the Digital Age

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Propose a new paradigm for water sector workforce roles and responsibilities.
    • List general skillsets and pay scale needed to attract the talent to the water sector, particularly within utilities, to champion digital transformation.
    • Develop or harness available training resources/categories (online training, webinars, conferences, etc.) and approaches to support skillsets needed (upskilling, on the job training by doing, etc.)
  • Feasibility and Applicability of Emerging Utility-Led Innovations in Addressing Affordability

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    • Document the emerging forms of affordability program options.
    • Evaluate the benefits and costs of implementing these programs in a variety of utility contexts and settings.
  • Incorporating Equity and Social Dimension into Community Climate Adaptation Planning and Watershed Management

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Identify the role of community-based organizations and community leaders and how to lead with their voice in identifying and defining desired benefits for the community.
    • Identify appropriate metrics for building resilient communities that blends lived experience of the community with technical expertise.
    • Develop holistic mitigation strategies, including planning level costs to reconcile the social inequities associated with community climate adaptation and watershed management.
    • Develop or modify an easy-to-use supporting TBL tool and analysis framework that allow utilities to better assess equity implications of various options.
  • Improved Equity & Environmental Justice in Asset Management

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    • Monetize and incorporate impacts from water system disruptions and emergency events on disadvantaged neighborhoods into a Cost of Failure (COF) calculation.
    • Develop a framework with supporting information that allows for integration of equity and justice consideration into an asset management program.
    • Ensure the results of this project are robust and applicable to any type of water utility as well as small and large systems.
  • Integrating Wastewater-Based Epidemiology and Clinical Surveillance for Public Health Decision Making and Utility Operations

    Budget

    $225,000

    Objective

    • Demonstrate how changes in public health/water conditions can lead to measurable changes in public health/water outcomes.
    • Demonstrate how the data can be made actionable in policy, public health, and operational contexts.
    • Identify best practices for data sharing and communication across the public health and One Water sectors.
    • Investigate opportunities to better inform the public and One Water sectors.
  • Advancing Partial Denitrification/Anammox (PdNA) Full-Scale Applications

    Budget

    $250,000

    Objective

    • Conduct remaining research and finalize design and operational guidance for PdNA full-scale implementation (integrated and polishing).
    • Advance the integration of PdNA with biological phosphorus (P) removal through anoxic uptake of P as the main driver of nitrite production from the proof of principle stage towards full-scale testing.
  • Back to the Future: Guidance for Adaptive and Scenario Supply Planning Approaches

    Budget

    $250,000

    Objective

    • Identify processes to monitor how supply conditions change over time (indicators being tracked: storage, demand, financial resources, climate, hydrology, regulations, equity, etc.), and determine best practices.
    • Describe how utilities identify drivers of change, develop scenarios, and incorporate them into adaptive planning approaches.
    • Describe how utilities identify triggers and monitor changing conditions.
    • Consider international examples, as well as other sectors for best practices.
  • Fate of Microplastics in Drinking Water Treatment Plants

    Budget

    $250,000

    Objective

    • Characterize microplastic concentrations in source waters and quantify microplastic loading variability.
    • Characterize microplastic concentrations before and after each process in drinking water treatment plants.
    • Perform mass balance on microplastics within a drinking water treatment plant.
  • DE&I Best Practices for the Water Sector Workforce

    Budget

    $125,000

    Objective

    • Identify and define an inclusive work environment, best practices, methods, metrics, etc.
    • Identify partnerships that have been successful in accelerating DE&I objectives.
    • Identify utilities that have been successful.
  • Beyond Net Zero Carbon: Advancing Carbon Offset and Interdependencies through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

    Budget

    $200,000

    Objective

    • Develop a decision support framework and operational guidelines for WRRFs to achieve Net-Zero Carbon and beyond (e.g., through Water-Energy-Food nexus).
    • Synthesize case studies worldwide that can help demonstrate the applicability of decision support framework for broader uses.
  • Establishing Industry-Wide Guidance for Water Utility Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    Develop a utility-facing guidance document and a supporting spreadsheet tool that capture current best practices worldwide for developing a utility GHG inventory of capital and operating emissions over the life cycle.

  • Quantifying the Impact of AI/ML-Based Approaches to Utility Performance Optimization

    Budget

    $350,000

    Objective

    • Provide quantifiable results, real case studies and a demonstration study of implementation to gain insight into the capabilities of vendor-driven, academic-driven, and home-grown solutions to process performance evaluation.
    • Demystify AI/ML to enable all staff to understand, trust, and embrace via provable outcomes and value driven-KPIs. Document how to assess which AI/ML solution is best for specific types of use cases.
    • Identify benefits (e.g., efficiency, effectiveness, cost-saving, etc.) and how to sustain them after initial AI/ML implementation with only minimal upkeep.
  • Improved Risk Management from Condition Assessment Data

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Perform detailed review and analysis of existing condition assessment data for two types of common North American pipe.
    • Investigate means of extracting more value from existing condition assessment data.
    • Investigate ways to extrapolate pipe condition between measurement points, as well as further develop and understand the statistics of pipe deterioration and failure.
  • Innovative Technologies to Improve Monitoring of Assets

    Budget

    $150,000

    Objective

    • Assess possibilities of new and emerging technologies to increase utility resilience.
    • Conduct case studies of demonstrated applications of new and emerging technologies with quantified costs and benefits.