June 24, 2020

Udall, Heinrich, Torres Small Applaud Water Infrastructure Grants to Reuse Water and Address PFAS Contamination

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the Bureau of Reclamation within the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), has awarded $499,377 to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and New Mexico State University for desalination and PFAS water purification research projects.

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I've been working to ensure that New Mexico can sustainably manage our precious water resources so that we can thrive in the West for generations to come," Udall said. “This investment represents a down payment on our road to cleaning up our irreplaceable groundwater, and to develop innovative solutions to hazards like PFAS in New Mexico’s water supply. I'll continue to fight for these important investments in water infrastructure and research as a proactive strategy to responsibly manage our water resources." 

“We must do everything we can to protect and improve precious water resources for communities across New Mexico,” said Heinrich. “That is why I am proud to support this funding for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and New Mexico State University to keep the ball moving on water desalination projects and PFAS purification solutions. I will continue fighting for investments to improve water resources and research that creates more sustainable water infrastructures in New Mexico.”

“In southern New Mexico, we know firsthand how precious our water resources are to our community, economy, and environment. This investment in projects at NM Tech and NMSU will help ensure New Mexico has the tools necessary to protect groundwater and address PFAS contamination. Our state depends on our ability to protect our water supply and I will continue to fight for smart investments to ensure we have the infrastructure we need,” said Torres Small.

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology grant will be used to desalinate high-salinity water discharged from oilfields so that the water can be reused for other purposes (i.e. irrigation water). The New Mexico State University grant will be used to design and fabricate an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly system for removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water resources to improve pretreatment processes.

The breakdown of grants is below:

- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, $249,991
- New Mexico State University, $249,386