Feb 26, 2009

Tennessee Congressman Introduces Water Research Legislation

Rep. Bart Gordon introduces legislation that would coordinate federal water research programs

Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), House science and technology chairman, recently introduced legislation, H.R. 1145, The National Water Research and Development Initiative Act of 2009, designed to improve and coordinate federal water research programs amid growing concerns about shrinking water supplies in the U.S.

“Water is essential to everything—-industry, agriculture, recreation and creating power—-and there is no substitute for it,” said Gordon. “If we are to meet the water crises of the future, we need an effective research and development effort that provides tools and information to manage our water resources effectively. Coordination of the twenty federal agencies responsible for water programs is a logical place to start.”

H.R. 1145 addresses concerns raised in the 2004 National Academies report on federal water research, which suggested a lack of coordination among agencies has contributed to the U.S. is not using research dollars efficiently. according to E&E Daily.

The bill would authorize and codify and funds for an existing interagency Water Availability and Quality Subcommittee, which was originally established by the Bush administration in 2003, and is run through the National Science and Technology Council.

“We need to pursue technological innovations to ensure future water supplies, and to ensure that federal dollars spent on these efforts are utilized in a cost-effective manner,” said Gordon. “We know that the U.S. is not getting its money worth on water resources research because of a lack of coordination. This bill is a step towards rectifying that.”