In order to meet its mission, the Department of Defense (DoD) must be able to deliver clean, safe drinking water and effectively treat wastewater to protect public health and the environment, while maximizing operational flexibility. Advances in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater at fixed installations and at FOBs can significantly contribute to meeting the Department’s sustainability goals, reduce operational costs, and improve mission performance.

The DoD maintains and operates wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities at many of its fixed installations in the United States. The DoD provides drinking water to 3.4 million people living and working on DoD installations and it operates more than 100 domestic wastewater facilities. These facilities use conventional treatment plants to treat drinking water and wastewater. They are energy intensive and critical to the operation of the installation.

For deployed forces and expeditionary success, water is paramount. One of the largest shipments of supplies to the tactical edge is the delivery of water. Current U.S. military contingency operations underscore a need for more sustainable FOBs. FOBs have been vital in supporting the expeditionary and campaign capabilities of the U.S. military but building and sustaining FOBs have incurred significant costs in terms of both dollars spent and lives lost. Supplying FOBs with water and removing wastewater are both significant challenges, but they also represent significant opportunities to tackle a primary obstacle to more effective and sustainable FOBs. SERDP and ESTCP are developing innovative technologies to improve the treatment of wastewater and drinking water and maximize the potential for reuse at both fixed installations and FOBs.