WATER USE EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION RESEARCH ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2008)
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Mr. HALL of Texas. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
The Environmental Protection Agency, better known as the EPA, is the Nation's lead agency charged with protecting the environment and supporting the goals of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act by providing methods, approaches and tools needed to protect water sources. As such, relevant and high-quality research and development is very vital to EPA's ability to carry out its many missions.
However, EPA's research and development program is far from comprehensive or rationally organized. As of today, EPA only conducts coordinated research and development activities in three areas; water quality protection, watershed management, and source control management. And while these are essential research areas, I believe EPA is missing a critical component to their research agenda, and that is the research and development of technologies that increase efficiency and conservation.
According to the American Water Works Association, an international nonprofit scientific and educational organization, daily indoor per capita water consumption in a typical single family home is about 70 gallons. By installing more efficient water fixtures and checking for leaks, single family homes may reduce their daily per capita water consumption by about 35 percent.
While some of these technologies are on the market and utilized, many water-saving ideas linger in the research phase for lack of a coordinated Federal research program.
H.R. 3957 establishes a research and development program for water efficiency technologies and conservation at the EPA. It instructs the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development to develop a strategic research plan, coordinated with other relevant EPA strategic plans, to compel synchronization of different research agendas.
EPA is to use recommendations in existing reports from the National Academies and the National Science and Technology Council in the development of the plan. However, their effort should not be just a regurgitation of previous work.
Other countries, such as Israel, have invested significant resources in water efficiency and conservation research areas. We, too, have to invest resources if we are to weather water shortages in the future.
Madam Speaker, at a time when our Nation is really facing greater numbers of water events, we just can't afford to fall behind on technology research and development.
I urge all of my colleagues to support H.R. 3957.
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