CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 469 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Ralph Hall (R-TX) on January 13, 2009.
H.R. 469 directs the Secretary of Energy to carry out research programs aimed at developing technologies that would maximize the utilization and quality of water brought to the surface from underground sources as part of the exploration process for energy sources that are located underground. These projects are aimed at improving the desalinization and purity of these waters, as well as for the reinjection of produced water into subsurface geological formations to increase energy production.
Additionally, the Secretary may enter into an agreement with an experienced entity to manage the research and administration of these water use programs. The Secretary will also support research and development activities at the appropriate National Laboratory to support research efforts outlined in this bill.
The legislation authorizes $20 million for each of fiscal years 2010-2014. 25 percent of this funding will be for research at the National Laboratory, and the remainder will be set aside for the other programs laid out in the bill.
On July 30, 2008, the House passed a similar version of this legislation (H.R. 2339) by voice vote. The Senate never considered that bill.
Alternate water sources and recycling programs that are utilized in the United States today include municipal supplied reclaimed water that is treated and recycled for non-potable uses. Additionally, grey water treatment programs typically remove suspended solids from water with varying degrees of subsequent treatment depending on its use (non-potable uses such as car washes and laundromats).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only one percent of the water on the planet is available for human consumption. In the United States, an average of 100 gallons of water is used per person every day. At least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013.
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score available for this bill, but the legislation authorizes $20 million for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.