In a project managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), GE Global Research has advanced a method to lower the energy requirement and cut the cost of recovering usable water from high-salinity brines. The new technology offers a way to turn a potential waste product into a usable source of water and minerals. Water and energy are surprisingly interconnected: much water is needed to generate electricity, and much energy is needed to purify water. The lowest energy method of water purification is typically a membrane process, such as reverse osmosis; however, some wastewaters are not good candidates for this because of very high salt concentrations. Reverse osmosis also leaves behind a brine with very high salinity that must be disposed of properly.