Water Saving Projects Get a Boost from California Energy Commission

With California in the midst of an extended drought, finding resourceful ways to conserve water is a priority. One of the best ways to save water is to reuse it, and the California Energy Commission recently invested in innovative technologies that treat industrial wastewater for reuse.

In May, grants were awarded to:
  • Porifera Inc., of Hayward – $3.2 million to demonstrate its proprietary filtration process that purifies industrial wastewater so it can be reused onsite and $2.4 million to demonstrate its proprietary filtration process used in the food and beverage industry to make juice concentrates and purify wastewater for reuse onsite.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants of Rancho Cordova – $3.4 million to demonstrate a filtration technology that significantly increases organic material removal at wastewater treatment plants, thereby reducing the amount of energy required for secondary treatments.
  • UC Riverside – $3 million to demonstrate an energy management system that reduces the cost to treat wastewater. Another way to save water is to not use any at all. CO2Nexus received a $900,000 grant to demonstrate its system that uses liquid carbon dioxide instead of water to clean military uniforms and field gear such as Kevlar-ballistic vests, flame resistant garments, sleeping bags and tents. The three-year demonstration will be held at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme.

This is the second waterless CO2Nexus project the Energy Commission has invested in. The company received $400,000 in 2010 to demonstrate the first ever commercial use of liquid carbon dioxide to clean garments used in high-tech cleanrooms at an Aramark Uniform Services clean laundry facility in Los Angeles.

The grants lay a foundation for the Water Energy Technology (WET) program — one of the four Energy Commission responsibilities in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s April 1 drought-related Executive Order. The WET program will launch this summer and provide funds for cutting-edge technologies that:
  • Display significant water savings, energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Demonstrate actual operation beyond the research and development stage.
  • Document readiness for rapid, large-scale deployment in California.
The program is being implemented jointly by the Energy Commission, along with the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board.

To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. To learn more about how you can conserve water, visit

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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