Technology program aims to improve water quality, quantity

July 14, 2004
12:00 AM
Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici led a bipartisan group of senators and two House members today in introducing legislation to create a federal water technology program aimed at expanding and coordinating water technology research around the country to improve water quality and quantity. The bill, The Department of Energy National Laboratory Water Technology Research and Development Act of 2004, will involve the Department of Energy national lab system in partnership with universities around the country to design and deploy technologies aimed at providing more clean water for residential, commercial, industrial and natural resource use around the country. The bill authorizes $200 million annually for basic and applied research and development in water supply technologies. Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-CA; Jeff Bingaman, D-NM; Richard Durbin, D-IL and Larry Craig, R-ID, are cosponsoring the bill. Representatives Richard Pombo, R-CA, and Ken Calvert, R-CA, are also cosponsors. Senator Domenici’s statement: “We have neglected federal water research for too long. Now, we are faced with regional droughts and a pending water shortages or one type or another in most regions of the country. Our investment is water research has been like a leaky faucet. A drip and occasional dribble. Let’s turn the faucet on full. With shortages on the horizon, let’s put more money and brain power into developing water technologies that will augment our supply of clean water. “My bill is ambitious, but our efforts must be as big as the problem. I want to fund a state-of-the-art design and deployment program that ensures that Americans and the world’s people have adequate access to water. New science and technology, properly organized and deployed, can avert looming water crises, dramatically expanding the clean and useable water available to Americans.” Senator Bingaman’s statement: “Drought and population changes are just two of the most significant factors making the management and use of water an urgent issue facing our country. Meeting this challenge requires an increased national commitment to water resources research. This legislation makes that commitment, and in doing so strongly supports the good efforts already underway at our national laboratories.” ###