WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today said that understanding the relationship between water supply and energy security is key to meeting our future energy needs.
At a hearing to receive testimony on the Science and Engineering to Comprehensively Understand and Responsibly Enhance (SECURE) Water Act of 2007 (S.2156), which is co-sponsored by Domenici, the Senator noted the importance of determining the nation’s water needs in order to secure our energy future.
“The Secure Water Act will give us a good start to understanding our water resources. Recognizing our water needs is important to securing our energy future, so Congress must have the data necessary to analyze our current water resources and future demands. Without significant technological advancements that allow us to better utilize, conserve, and produce additional water in a cost-effective manner, it is unclear how we will meet our important energy needs,” Domenici said.
The SECURE Act contains provisions to increase water use efficiency by gathering data that will analyze the nation’s water resources. Domenici pointed out that electricity, oil and gas production, and certain renewable energy sources are all dependent on having adequate access to water. Additionally, an inverse relationship exists, in that energy is critical for treating, pumping and distributing water.
“We can and must ensure that an adequate supply of water will meet our energy demands. To put it simply, we must reduce the amount of water needed for energy production, reduce energy demand for water production, and develop new sources of water. I look forward to passing this bipartisan legislation and continuing to work on this challenge,” Domenici said.
Senators Cantwell, Johnson, Salazar, and Tester are also co-sponsors of S. 2156. Witnesses at the hearing included Robert W. Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior; Robert M. Hirsch, Ph.D., Associate Director for Water, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior; John D’Antonio, Representing Western States Water Council; Patrick O’Toole, Family Farm Alliance; Jon Lambeck, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Brian Richter, The Nature Conservancy; David R. Wunsch, Ph.D., P.G., Representing National Groundwater Association.