2007 Ground Water Summit

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 : 3:10 p.m.

National Inland Ground Water Desalination Research Center

Mike Hightower, Mr., Sandia National Laboratories and Karl Wood, New Mexico State University

National Inland Ground Water Desalination Research Facility


Mike Hightower

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM

Karl Wood

New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute

Las Cruces, NM



To address the development of the “next generation” of desalination technologies needed to realistically impact future fresh water supplies, a federal partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and the Bureau of Reclamation was established by Congress in 2001 to evaluate and coordinate the development of a brackish ground water desalination research facility in the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico.  While significant efforts have been devoted to address coastal or seawater desalination issues, this facility has been designed to address the unique research needs, such as system performance and environmental impact, of desalination and effective utilization of brackish ground water in inland areas.  The goal of this facility is to become a national and international leader in the research, testing, evaluation, and demonstration of novel technologies for cost-effective ground water desalination and environmentally sound concentrate management. 


Conceptual design of the facility was completed in September 2002, and final design  completed in April 2004.  Construction on the water supply system for the facility was initiated in October 2003, while groundbreaking for the facility was held in June 2004.  The presentation will provide an overview of the facility design, construction, and research opportunities.


Mike Hightower, Mr., Sandia National Laboratories Mr. Hightower has over 25 years experience in research and development of environmental remediation and waste treatment technologies. He currently is involved in the development of technologies and approaches to improve the sustainability, reliability, and security of energy and water systems and infrastructures.

The 2007 Ground Water Summit