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Decarbonization of Water Resource Recovery Facilities

Federal Agency


Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)


To fund research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities to decarbonize the entire life cycle of Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs). Two topic areas are the decarbonization of WRRF unit processes and reducing overall greenhouse GHG emissions from WRRFs.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include WRRF partners (municipal utilities, tribal councils, regional sanitary authorities, or other governmental entities with direct responsibility for organic waste treatment and management), for-profit entities, non-profit entities, and state, local, and tribal government entities. Eligible funding subrecipients include National Laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), institutions of higher education, and federal agencies and instrumentalities (other than DOE).

Decarbonization Considerations

This program focuses on the decarbonization of the water treatment sector and requires GHG reductions of 50% minimum assessed at the unit process level, or 25% minimum assessed at the overall plant level. Local governments can leverage this fund to replace the aging aerations with more energy-efficient models or upgrade the traditional sludge handling methods with novel processes.

Equity Considerations

A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan is required for each application. Consider prioritizing water treatment facilities located in underserved communities to bring the benefits of decarbonization to local residents. Consider partnering with students, researchers, and staff in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to provide employment and/or educational opportunities for underrepresented students or groups. MSIs include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Institutions, etc.

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Other Notes

The awards will be issued as cooperative agreements with a period of performance of three to five years.

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

January 27, 2023 (Concept Paper); April 3, 2023 (Full Application)

Funding Available


Max Award Amount

Up to $2,500,000 for projects decarbonizing WRRF unit processes; up to $4,000,000 for projects reducing overall GAG emissions from WRRFs

Expected Allocations

4-5 awards for projects decarbonizing WRRF unit processes; 3 awards for projects reducing overall GAG emissions from WRRFs

Average Award (Estimated)


Matching Funds

20-50% cost share required, depending on subtopic

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