Apr 24, 2009

Water Research Coordination Bill Passes in House

Bill addresses concerns raised in 2004 National Academies report on federal water research

The House recently approved legislation aimed at coordinating federal water research, E&E Daily reported.
H.R. 1145, sponsored by House Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), passed by a 413-10 roll call vote on April 23.
"Coordination of federal agency activities and a stronger partnership with state, local and tribal governments will ensure that federal programs are focused on areas of greatest concern, and that our efforts are complementary and effective," Gordon said in a statement.
The legislation addresses concerns raised in the 2004 National Academies report on federal water research, which suggested a lack of coordination among the federal agencies conducting water research is causing the U.S. to to use research dollars inefficiently.
"There are a lot of different agencies involved in water research, so it's a good idea to have them coordinate and avoid duplication," said Nancy Stoner, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's water program. "It's important both in terms of the effects on water and the way water resources management contributes to climate change."
The bill was supported by environmentalists, as well as utility groups including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
The House approved several amendments to the bill, which also would establish a national water initiative outreach office to support the interagency committee and serve as a contact point for government agencies, organizations, academia and industry. The office would provide for a national water census that would compile water data in one database.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is considering sponsoring companion legislation to H.R. 1145 in the Senate, the newsletter reported.

More information on the bill can be found here.