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Public Statements

Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. TITUS. I thank the gentleman.

I would like to thank the chairman and the ranking member of this important committee for their work on this bill, and I would also like to thank my colleague from California (Mr. Thompson) for his leadership as part of this bill in addressing the enormous challenges that invasive species present to our country's waters.

In southern Nevada--you think of that as a desert, but there is a lot of water there--the spread of the quagga mussels is a growing threat to Lake Mead, which contributes nearly $1 billion to the local economy and supplies 90 percent of southern Nevada's water supply. The spread of quagga mussels in this critical reservoir has led to expensive countermeasures by the Bureau of Reclamation, which is spending nearly $1 million a year to prevent quaggas from infiltrating the Boulder Dam intakes. The Southern Nevada Water Authority was also forced to redesign the water intake 3 project, which is currently underway, to prevent quagga mussels from growing there as well. If unchecked, the mussels can clog the intakes to prevent water from reaching the residents and the visitors to southern Nevada. Likewise, Lake Tahoe, which borders Nevada and California, is on the edge of waterways where quagga mussels have been found and are taking hold. Should quagga mussels establish colonies in Lake Tahoe, the annual impact would be over $22 million a year.

The amendment that is part of this bill would direct the GAO to examine the current efforts to address the spread of invasives and to help develop a long-term strategy. So I would urge my colleagues to not only support the bill, but also the amendment.


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