From the office of Congresswoman Grace Napolitano:
Today, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), John Garamendi (CA-03), Lois Capps (CA-24), and Jared Huffman (CA-02) joined 22 of their Democratic colleagues to reintroduce H.R. 291,“W21: Water in the 21st Century,” to help communities nationwide better prepare for the future by providing new incentives and investments to help local water agencies, residents, and businesses to conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today also reintroduced the Senate companion to this bill.
“2014 was California’s driest year on record, illustrating more than ever how preparing for future drought cycles is vital to our nation’s well-being,” Napolitano said. “Our comprehensive legislation addresses this urgent need through cost-effective solutions—increased water use efficiency, water conservation, desalination, and water recycling—which Southern California has successfully been doing for decades. Of the many critical challenges we face in the 114th Congress, developing a reliable water supply for the 21st Century must be among our top priorities. I am proud to coauthor this bill in the House and will continue to work with all of my colleagues to help create a sustainable water future for generations to come.”
“I am proud to cosponsor the Water in the 21st Century Act, a bill that helps guide our nation toward a more sustainable water future. California’s historic drought has demonstrated the need for expanded science-driven water conservation, recycling, and storage initiatives found in this bill and in the overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1. Both provide solutions that work for all 58 counties in California. By investing in smart water policies, the Water in the 21st Century Act would help create millions of acre feet of new water, ensure a reliable water supply, and create good jobs,” Garamendi said.
“While the rain this weekend was welcome news in California, this drought remains the worst on record and the most urgent problem our state faces,” Capps said. “There are no easy solutions. But the Water in the 21st Century Act would be a strong step forward by providing critical support for improved water efficiency, conservation, and water recycling projects in our local communities.”
“The extreme California drought demands a robust, responsible response from Congress that does not pit one industry against another, or favor one region over others,” Huffman said. “The Water in the 21st Century Act makes smart, sustainable investments in water efficiency, recycling, and conservation and helps to ensure we all have a reliable water supply for the future.”
The legislation would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater management and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure would also help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought.
In addition to Reps. Napolitano, Garamendi, Capps, and Huffman, original cosponsors include Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), John Conyers (MI-13), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), Mike Honda (CA-17), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Scott Peters (CA-52), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Norma Torres (CA-35), and Juan Vargas (CA-51).
H.R. 291 is supported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Western Recycled Water Coalition, WaterNow, the Clean Water Construction Coalition, the Northern California Water Association, the North Bay Water Reuse Authority and the WateReuse Association.
For a full summary of the legislation, click here.
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