Submission Deadline: September 29, 2021


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications for research to accelerate water innovation that advances clean and safe water reuse goals, promotes better understanding of the Nation’s water and wastewater treatment and infrastructure, and enhances the availability and efficient use of water resources through water reuse. This new funding opportunity is titled National Priorities: Water Innovation, Science, And Engagement to Advance Water Reuse Request for Applications (RFA). 

Safe and reliable water supplies are critical for our Nation’s public health, ecosystems, and economy. As 89 percent of the western U.S. currently faces a drought, communities, agriculture, and businesses across the country are looking to diversify their supply portfolios to meet current and future needs. Water reuse (also commonly known as water recycling or water reclamation) represents a major opportunity to enhance the sustainability and efficient use of water resources to ensure the quality and quantity of existing water supplies. Water reuse is a well-established practice in some areas of the United States and internationally, yet substantial barriers exist to expand its consideration and application for different purposes and benefits.

This RFA is intended to address multiple water reuse sources and applications that support national efforts to reduce technological and institutional barriers for expanded water reuse.

There are two distinct research areas covered by this solicitation. Applicants should address BOTH research areas and cover all the topics of interest listed under each area in the RFA.

  • Research Area 1: Science, Technology Development, and Validation for Water Reuse Applications
    Research is needed to help inform the role of water reuse in securing water availability and water quality for user communities. Research gaps exist for future fit-for-purpose specifications using risk assessment strategies; brine reduction and disposal technologies and processes; development of real-time monitoring and control strategies for water treatment processes; and assessment, demonstration, and validation of novel or improved treatment technologies.
  • Research Area 2: Social Science, Information, Engagement, and Organizational Barriers to Water Reuse
    Research is needed to improve the national understanding of the water available for reuse and the critical impediments to advancing water reuse across the U.S., including public acceptance. Both social and organizational barriers contribute to the critical research gaps surrounding reuse, including, but not limited to potential policy, legal, regulatory, financial, and social impediments. More research is needed on the best approaches for improving cross-organizational engagement as well as approaches that increase public acceptance of water reuse.
Informational Webinar

Date: August 5, 2021
1:00 p.m. CT

Join us for an informational webinar on the National Priorities: Water Innovation, Science, And Engagement to Advance Water Reuse funding opportunity. The webinar will cover application information and provide an overview of what has already been provided in the RFA.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Share general information and information on research areas for the RFA (EPA Project Officer)
  • Learn about the  submission, eligibility, relevancy review and peer review processes (EPA Eligibility, Submission, and Peer Review Officers)
  • Question & answer session

A copy of the webinar presentation will be available on the RFA webpage for those unable to participate in the scheduled webinar.

For information on eligibility, project specifications, or how to apply, visit: National Priorities: Water Innovation, Science, and Engagement to Advance Water Reuse Request for Applications (RFA).

Learn more about the Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) Research Program.

Learn more about EPA Research Grants.


*COVID-19 Update: EPA is providing flexibilities to applicants experiencing challenges related to COVID-19. Please see the Flexibilities Available to Organizations Impacted by COVID-19 clause in Section IV of EPA’s Solicitation Clauses.