McNer­ney Un­veils New Com­pre­hen­sive Wa­ter Leg­is­la­tion

Escalon Times - - NEWS -

As the de­bate con­tin­ues over how best to ad­dress Cal­i­for­nia’s wa­ter needs, Con­gress­man Jerry McNer­ney (CA-09) has in­tro­duced new com­pre­hen­sive leg­is­la­tion that would pro­vide a long-term plan to im­prove wa­ter sus­tain­abil­ity in Cal­i­for­nia and across the coun­try.

The Wa­ter and En­ergy Sus­tain­abil­ity through Tech­nol­ogy Act (WEST Act) in­cludes pro­vi­sions that sup­port in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies and in­fra­struc­ture for ur­ban and agri­cul­tural ar­eas, as well as ef­forts to im­prove ef­fi­ciency.

“Our wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture is de­clin­ing and in need of re­pair,” said Con­gress­man McNer­ney. “Wa­ter sup­ply in Cal­i­for­nia, and across the na­tion, is a se­ri­ous chal­lenge, but we’ve only been pre­sented with short­sighted and ill-con­ceived plans that rely on the ship­ment of wa­ter from one area to an­other. In­stead, we should be fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing wa­ter sus­tain­abil­ity through con­ser­va­tion, re­cy­cling, and cap­ture.”

Cur­rently, the United States uses ap­prox­i­mately 80 bil­lion gal­lons of fresh ground­wa­ter per day. Un­der the WEST Act, re­im­burse­ments would be au­tho­rized for re­cy­cling and re­use projects that cre­ate new wa­ter, and re­gional self-suf­fi­ciency would be im­proved through the en­cour­age­ment of stormwa­ter cap­ture and in­creased wa­ter stor­age. It would also re­quire a study on ways to im­prove leak de­tec­tion lo­ca­tion, map­ping, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for pipe­line sys­tems and pro­vide grants to im­ple­ment these so­lu­tions.

“It’s time to change the nar­ra­tive and fo­cus on prac­ti­cal, for­ward-think­ing so­lu­tions in­stead of high­cost, short-term fixes,” said Con­gress­man McNer­ney. “Cal­i­for­nia has long been a lead­ing in­no­va­tor in en­ergy and tech­nol­ogy and we now have the op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply that type of in­ge­nu­ity to mod­ern­iz­ing our wa­ter sys­tems.”

The WEST Act would also es­tab­lish a U.S. Bureau of Recla­ma­tion ground­wa­ter in­for­ma­tion sys­tem and ground­wa­ter man­age­ment tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, in ad­di­tion to a smart en­ergy and wa­ter ef­fi­ciency pro­gram to sup­port in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions for agri­cul­tural use and to im­prove ef­fi­ciency at fed­eral build­ings.

“This bill is the re­sult of ex­ten­sive en­gage­ment with a di­verse group of stake­hold­ers – in­clud­ing farm­ers, tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tors, in­dus­try and com­mu­nity lead­ers,” Con­gress­man McNer­ney stated. “These are tan­gi­ble, com­mon­sense ap­proaches that we can ac­com­plish in the short-term that will ben­e­fit all of us in the long-term.”

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