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

IWW Adopts Executive Advisory Committee

As an editor, you hear mixed messages about an editorial advisory committee.

Kurita to acquire valuable ICL business units in asset purchase agreement

Kurita Water Industries and ICL have entered into an asset purchase agreement to allow Kurita to acquire ICL's Performance Products' aluminum, paper chemical and water treatment business units based in Ludwigshafen and Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as in Europe and China.

USDA announces $352M in funding to rehabilitate U.S. rural water systems

The USDA has announced that it is providing more than $352 million in loans and grants to rehabilitate rural water and wastewater systems nationwide as well as make infrastructure improvements in rural villages across the state of Alaska.

Thousands supporting clean water submit comments to EPA, USCE over 'Waters of the U.S.' definition

More than 700,000 Americans have written to support a plan to protect streams and wetlands nationwide that are vulnerable to pollution, and on a coalition of conservation organizations and clean water advocates have delivered their comments to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA