Alaskan senator supports energy-water nexus legislation

Sponsored by

May 7, 2014

By Leandra Bernstein

Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski addressed the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, May 6, to promote legislation focused on the energy-water nexus (Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability [NEWS] Act, S. 1971). The discussion revolved around energy and water resources as "inseparable," citing the use of more than 12 billion gallons of fresh water consumed daily for the combined production of fuels and energy across the country.

Her bill calls for the establishment of interagency coordination between the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies to ensure the future availability of both water and energy resources.

Murkowski explained that the United States must take leadership in the development of technology to meet future needs. Research has already been done by Australia, Singapore, the Gulf States, and Israel to reduce the costs and operational challenges of water desalination. The U.S., said Murkowski, should collaborate with these nations and leverage existing research.

"The development of new and improved technologies can answer the needs of both the domestic and international energy-water markets," said the Senator. "This could mean opportunities for job creators in high-tech, R&D and manufacturing." Concluding that while conservation efforts could reduce demand, it can only go so far. The solution, according to Murkowski, lies essentially in new technologies and best practices to bring those technologies into use.

When asked what the potential is for U.S.-Canada collaboration on water resources, Murkowski warned that cooperation can be jeopardized as resources become scarce or supplies are negatively impacted. "It all works better if we have established a good working relationship well ahead of any shortages, any concerns or any stress to the management systems."

She further emphasized a problem addressed by S. 1971, which is the lack of data-sharing between federal agencies, leading to an incomplete picture of the use and accessibility of water and energy resources. "We need to understand what it is that we have. Canada needs to understand [what they have]," Murkowski stated. "That allows for better levels of collaboration and cooperation. When you don't think you have enough, everyone gets antsy."

About the Author: Leandra Bernstein is a freelance journalist with a strong interest in water and power security for the United States.

See also:

"New energy-water nexus bill stresses need for source-to-site energy analysis"

"World Water Day 2014: Event addresses water-energy nexus"

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Local CA agencies join national water campaign to promote water consumption

First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America announced that FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara Valley Water District joined the Drink Up effort, a national campaign that encourages people across the country to drink more water, more often.

New treatment technology to be added to WWTP at NY Superfund site

EPA has announced that an additional treatment technology will be added to the existing treatment plant at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in Nassau, Rensselaer County, New York.

EPA grants over $11M to Oklahoma to improve water quality

EPA recently awarded over $11 million to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board as part of its Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a program that provides low-interest, flexible loans to communities to help them improve water quality and infrastructure.

Private water companies to bridge $500B water investment gap in U.S., finds study

According to a new report from Bluefield Research, private water markets in the U.S. are poised for significant growth. With an infrastructure investment gap of more than $500B for drinking water and wastewater treatment over the next 20 years, a revised regulatory landscape is shaping new opportunities for private players looking to invest strategically in U.S. water.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA