Legislation

Official Short: Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability (NEWS) Act of 2015

Sponsors: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

THOMAS: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1218?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s+1218%22%5D%7D

Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability (NEWS) Act of 2015

S. 1218 coordinates federal energy-water nexus programs to minimize duplication and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders.

Background

All forms of energy production, distribution, extraction, and refinement require water or affect water resources in some way. Every aspect of treatment, transport, and distribution of water, as well as the treatment and reuse of wastewater, is dependent on sufficient and reliable energy. Currently, there are two challenges: 1) what can be done to ensure an adequate supply of water? and 2) how can the amount of water used for energy and energy used for water be responsibly minimized? To begin to address these challenges, the federal government must better understand the information that agencies have – or do not have – and improve coordination of those efforts. The federal government must also identify opportunities for advancing basic research and development to improve technology and water use strategies.

Key Provisions

  • Tasks the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) (within the Office of Science and Technology Policy), in consultation with the Secretaries of Energy and Interior, to establish a committee to coordinate the activities of all Federal departments and agencies on energy-water nexus issues.
  • Requires identification of all relevant energy-water nexus activities across the federal government, coordination on effective research and development activities, collaboration to disseminate data that enables better practices, and exploration of public-private partnerships.
  • Seeks a “crosscut” budget from the Office of Management and Budget that details expenditures across the federal government related to energy-water nexus programs.