US Congressmen Introduce Water Supply Legislation

Congressman Richard Pombo and Congresswoman Ellen O. Tauscher, both of California, have introduced the National Water Supply Enhancement Act, reauthorizing the Water Desalination Act of 1996 and establishing an advanced water supply enhancement program.

Congressman Richard Pombo and Congresswoman Ellen O. Tauscher, both of California, have introduced the National Water Supply Enhancement Act, reauthorizing the Water Desalination Act of 1996 and establishing an advanced water supply enhancement program.

If enacted into law, the legislation will direct the Secretary of the Interior to work in conjunction with a California Federal research facility (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) to develop unique, innovative means for water supply treatment and remediation, including desalination.

In addition, program will emphasize selective contaminant extraction and will utilize advanced supercomputer modeling to develop such technologies. The program will also focus on moving technologies from the research and development stage to widespread commercialization. The program will partner with local water agencies and municipalities for demonstration programs.

"Communities in California, and throughout the country are faced with water supply shortages due to contamination," said Congressman Pombo. "It makes sense to tap our resources, share technology so we take care of problems at hand. I've witnessed contamination in my district and it is a quality-of-life issue. This bill is about bringing the Lab together with local communities facing problems with contamination and working together for solutions."

"It's essential that we have reliable water supplies in California and throughout our region. I'm pleased to afford Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in my district this opportunity explore, develop, and help commercialize technologies to improve water supply treatment and remediation," Tauscher said. "I look forward to working with my colleague, Rep. Pombo, to tap into Livermore's expertise and find ways to ensure a stable water supply for generations to come."

While arsenic and perchlorate are two of the more widespread problems, there are many specific, localized contaminants. Federal research facilities are uniquely set up to do forward-looking, ground-breaking research and help bring that research from the development phase to the deployment phase, while working in concert with affected water agencies and municipalities to solve contaminant-specific problems.

"This legislation will help set a direction and provide funding, bringing relief to people who lack easy access to clean, uncontaminated water. This legislation can also act as a model for a more far-ranging program around the country," said Pombo.

Pombo represents California's Eleventh Congressional District. He is Chairman of the House Resources Committee and serves on the House Agriculture Committee. For more information on Congressman Richard Pombo and his work for California please visit: http://www/house.gov/pombo.

Tauscher represents California's Tenth Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is the senior Bay Area member on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, where she sits on the Water Resources Subcommittee. She is also the only member of the House to represent two nuclear laboratories.

More in Technologies