Salinity Management Guide
National Water Research Institute
Southwest Membrane Operator Association
Multi-State Salinity Coalition



SCSC established a fellowship dedicated to managing salinity in water resources in collaboration with the National Water Research Institute (NWRI).  The NWRI-SCSC Fellowship grants up to $10,000 a year for two years to support a graduate student whose research addresses the critical need to remove or reduce salts from water supplies and to preserve water resources in Southern California.

Research areas that we support include engineering sciences, physical and chemical sciences, biological sciences, health sciences, political sciences, and planning and public policy.

Examples of SCSC's specific research interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Concentrate management.
  • Institutional and regulatory issues.
  • Economics of reducing salinity levels.
  • Innovative treatment technologies.
  • Regional and watershed planning solutions.
  • Public education and awareness.
  • Limitations.

The Fellowship is only available to graduate students in good standing from any academic institution in Southern California (defined as the region between Santa Barbara and San Diego, and extending east to the border with Arizona and Nevada). Please note that students must be CURRENTLY enrolled in a Southern California academic institution to receive the Fellowship. Students who have not yet been accepted into an academic institution are NOT eligible to receive fellowship funding.

Application Requirements

The 2016-2018 Fellowship has been awarded. NWRI and SCSC will solicit applications for 2018-2020 beginning in November 2018. In the meantime, application procedures can be viewed and downloaded at NWRI's website at


Announcements regarding fellowship funding are disseminated via the NWRI E-Newsletter. If you would like to be informed of ongoing activities related to NWRI and SCSC, then click here to subscribe.



Current Fellow (2016-2018)

Impacts of Long-term Exposure to Flow with High Salinity and Temperature on Hydrophobicity of Membranes used for Membrane Distillations

Ryan Gustafson, University of Southern California. Mr. Gustafson is pursuing his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Professor Amy Childress. His research focuses on the use of membrane distillation (MD), a thermally drive process that can be driven by alternative energy sources such as waste heat or solar thermal energy. His research particularly relevant to Southern California because sources of local and imported water are becoming increasingly saline, and there is growing interest in treating feed streams from water reuse projects and desalination facilities. The objectives of his research are to determine if long-term exposure to flow causes a reduction in membrane surface roughness over time and to determine the net effect of long-term exposure to flows that contain high salinity at high temperature. The project serves the greater good by addressing issues related to desalination, salinity and brine management, and water reuse systems that are efficient and sustainable. Download Ryan's progress reports: Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Fall 2017.





Past Awardees (2014-2016)

Harvesting Energy from Desalination Concentrate via Electric Double-Layer Capacitor

Tushar Jain, University of California at Riverside. Mr. Jain is pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on desalination brine management. His research treats brine as an energy source from which chemical energy may be extracted via an electrochemical capacitor. This project aims to save energy, generate revenues for water utilities, and increase the viability of seawater desalination. Download PDFs of his progress reports: Spring 2015Fall 2015. Spring 2016.




Impacts of Hypersalinity from Brine Disposal on Selenium Embryo Toxicity in Fish

Allison Kupsco, University of California at Riverside. Ms. Kupsco is pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology. She is investigating how the enhanced discharge of hypersaline brine that is occurring throughout California may effect coastal ecosystems. This project is important because estuarine areas that receive significant snowmelt inputs may become more saline as climate change progresses. Download PDFs of her progress reports: Spring 2015.  Fall 2015.  Spring 2016.




Contact Information

For questions about the fellowship, please email the Fellowship Coordinator.