Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced the Energy and Water Research Integration Act. This bill would require the Department of Energy (DOE) to consider water conservation during energy research projects and focus federal research and development on creating technologies to decrease water consumption in energy production.
“It takes a lot of water to produce energy, and it takes a lot of energy to produce clean water. Residents of drought-prone states like Nevada understand that we need to be doing more to ensure that water security and energy production can coexist,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “By directing the Department of Energy to consider water use when researching new energy projects, this legislation would help bolster the development of innovative new technologies to decrease water consumption in energy production, improve efficiency and conserve our natural resources.”
“This legislation would encourage research into energy technologies that would improve and maximize the use of water and energy production,” said Senator Crapo. “Positive steps need to be taken toward using our limited resources in the most efficient and effective way possible. Bringing all interests to the table and developing solutions is the best way to make true conservation progress that brings lasting benefits to all.”
In the House of Representatives, companion legislation was introduced by Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas-30) and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.-03). This bill was passed by the House on July 23, 2019.
According to a 2015 U.S. Geological Survey report, about 45 percent of all water withdrawn from ground or surface sources in the U.S. is used for energy production. The Energy and Water Research Integration Act would ensure the intensity of energy and water is considered in the Department of Energy’s energy research, development, and demonstration programs to help guarantee efficient, reliable, and sustainable delivery of energy and clean water resources.
The full text of the bill is here.