Water is a valuable resource and inorganic membranes can be employed for the cleanup of a variety of water streams including the purification of drinking water, cleanup of industrial wastewater, oil/water separation, and cleanup of oil shale hydro-frac water. Tubular inorganic membranes offer many attributes that make them ideal for water purification including scalability. They are robust and can be cleaned/sterilized using steam, heat, microwaves, or direct resistance heating. They are rugged and last for tens of years and can withstand high pressures for higher fluxes. Inorganic membranes are composite with extremely thin separative layers applied to thin, strong supports resulting in high fluxes at low pressure drops. Filtration is performed at surface (i.e. not a depth filter) so that the membranes are cleanable and can be operated in a cross-flow configuration to minimize fouling.