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Press Releases :: February 11, 2009

House Takes Steps to Avert Water Shortages through Conservation, Innovation

(Washington, DC) – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills, H.R. 631 and H.R. 469, aimed at fostering technological innovation, efficiency and conservation, in an effort to head off a looming water shortage.  

“At least thirty five states are predicted to experience droughts in the next five years,” said Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).  “We need to begin now looking for ways for the federal government to spur new technological innovations in water research and development that will protect the country from an impending water scarcity crisis, and the corresponding economic impact.” 

H.R. 631, The Water Use Efficiency and Conservation Research Act, was introduced by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT).  H.R. 631 establishes a research and development program within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development to promote water-use efficiency and conservation.

“EPA estimates that if all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water—and more than $17 billion dollars—annually,” said Matheson.

H.R. 469, The Produced Water Utilization Act was introduced by Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX).  This bill creates a research, development, and demonstration program to promote the beneficial reuse of water produced in connection with oil and gas extraction.  In the United States, up to 2.3 billion gallons per day of produced water is generated.  Unfortunately, this water is not of sufficient quality to be used.  This legislation will provide innovative treatment technologies that will enable the reuse of this water in an environmentally responsible way.

The House passed both pieces of legislation in the 110th Congress.

For more information, please see the Committee’s website.  



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