Coming soon to a senate hearing near you—the Energy-Water Integration Act of 2011. The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) released a copy of the bill, which provides an analysis of the impact of energy development and production on the water resources of the US. While the proposal mostly reiterates issues originally discussed in Title 1, Subtitle D of S. 1462 of last Congress’s energy bill, it goes further into the foundation and influence of that old familiar relationship: the water energy nexus. The bill was voted out of committee and is now eligible for consideration by the full Senate.
The bill outlines a set of processes that are designed to illuminate and facilitate the relationship between water efficiency and energy efficiency. The actions proposed by the bill include:
* water and energy efficiency studies, research priorities, and enhanced assessments on water-related energy consumption;
* an energy-water research and development roadmap;
* an energy-water clean technology grant program;
* a rural water utilities energy and water efficiency program; and
* a comprehensive water use and energy savings study.
In a statement released in relation to the introduction of the Energy-Water Integration Act, Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said, “Developing new policies that integrate energy and water solutions will become increasingly vital as populations grow and environmental needs increase and a changing climate continues to affect our energy and water resources,” stated Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).
The bills co-sponsor, Senator Lisa Murkowski, elaborated on Bingaman’s statements, saying “all forms of energy production, distribution, and use either requires water or affects water resources in some manner. By identifying the relative linkages between energy and water systems and key research needs, we’ll get a greater return on our investment in research, development, and commercialization of energy and water technologies.”
Here at Water Efficiency we’ve kept a close eye on the Water/Energy Nexus, and this latest senatorial effort—along with support by AWE—is a big step towards encourage and enabling full accountability of the real water costs associated with the power generation and delivery. Check back soon for more information, as we track the bills journey through the legislature.