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Environmental Protection Agency: People, Prosperity, and the Planet Awards – Safe and Sustainable Water Resources

Deadline: November 19, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award Program, seeks applications proposing to research, develop, design, and demonstrate solutions to real world challenges. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative technology-based projects that achieve the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity, and protection of the planet – people, prosperity, and the planet. The EPA offers the P3 competition to respond to the needs of people in the United States (U.S.)—including those in small, rural, tribal, and/or disadvantaged communities.

Proposed projects must embody the P3 approach, which is that they have the intention and capability to simultaneously improve the quality of people’s lives, provide economic benefits, and protect the environment. Projects may involve human subjects research. The P3 Program is intended to address domestic U.S. needs. For this reason, P3 projects should primarily perform their research in the U.S. and the benefits of the research should primarily accrue to the U.S.

The P3 Program is composed of two phases. The first phase is a competition for grants to test, research, and develop innovative scientific projects or engineering designs that use the P3 approach. The Phase II grant awards are intended to support the further development and demonstration of the projects/designs created in Phase I. Additional instructions for completing the Phase II applications will be distributed to Phase I recipients.

EPA supports research for developing innovative, cost-effective solutions to current, emerging, and long-term water resource challenges for complex chemical and biological contaminants. EPA seeks projects that would support the development and demonstration of innovative and cost-effective solutions for the following topics:

  1. Technologies for the rehabilitation of water infrastructure.
  2. Sampling devices to detect, collect, and quantify microplastics in surface water, drinking water, sludge/biosolids, and/or discharges from wastewater treatment systems.
  3. Technological solutions for preventing, pretreating, or mitigating harmful algal blooms/cyanobacteria toxins in drinking water sources and/or recreational waters.
  4. Novel technologies for point-of-use removal of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and/or Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) families of Per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water and/or wastewater (ideally at high flow rates).
  5. Methods for detecting and monitoring waterborne pathogens, point-of-use treatment for opportunistic pathogens such as legionella, and/or mycobacteria.
  6. Technologies that address stormwater and wastewater infrastructure needs in communities, which may include small, rural, tribal, and/or disadvantaged communities.
  7. Small and inexpensive water distribution and/or stormwater system sensors that could connect to a network for use by a municipality or end user. The sensors would be deployed via water meters, water fountains, faucets, etc. and could detect changes or trends in water quality that might indicate an issue within a system. The sensors could provide real-time water quality and/or hydraulic data for parameters such as chlorine residual, total organic carbon (TOC), flow, pressure, pH, conductivity, and/or turbidity. In stormwater systems, for example, the sensors could be used to detect street level flooding and predict contaminant transport.
  8. Prevention and mitigation approaches to increase reuse of potable and non-potable water supplies, such as desalination units for small communities that are not based on reverse osmosis.
  9. Affordable techniques for basic sanitation and purification of drinking water for homes in communities, which may include small, rural, tribal, and/or disadvantaged communities.
  10. Technologies to detect and reduce exposure to lead in drinking water systems, such as developing simple, inexpensive tests for use in homes to check for lead in tap water; or developing water pipes that do not contain lead, that prevent the growth of biofilms, and that prevent corrosion and scaling.
  11. Innovative and potentially low-cost technologies for the rapid detection and treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wastewater.

Amount: Approximately $800,000 is available for all awards. Approximately 20 awards will be made for Phase I projects, and approximately three awards will be made for Phase II projects. Phase I grants will range up to $25,000 for a project duration of one year. Upon the successful completion of Phase I, grant recipients will have the opportunity to apply for a P3 Phase II grant of up to $100,000 total with a two-year duration.

Eligibility: Public and private institutions of higher education (limited to degree-granting institutions of higher education) located in the U.S. (includes eligible institutions of higher education located in U.S. territories and possessions) are eligible to apply to be the recipient of a grant to support teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students.

Link: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants/17th-annual-p3-awards-national-student-design-competition-focusing-people-0

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