Capitol Hill Gets Realistic with Water Research

It didn’t command headlines but an important piece of legislation passed recently that involves water research.

The House of Representatives on April 23 passed H.R. 1145, the National Water Research and Development Initiative Act of 2009. It’s designed to coordinate national research-and-development efforts regarding water use, supply and demand.

The problem is Americans are drinking a lot of tapwater containing trace quantities of prescription drugs and other complex chemical compounds. Currently there is no long-term plan to address this issue and what level of drugs pose health concerns to the public. In line with investigating that problem, it’s also important to study how these compounds can be removed from our drinking-water sources.

The act basically calls for federal research on the on the impact of trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and consumer products in treated drinking water.
One goal of the act is to get the president to establish a National Water Initiative Coordination Office to provide technical and administrative support. What’s more, the act is expected to help facilitate technology transfer, communication and opportunities for information exchange with various parties through this National Water Initiative Coordination Office.

It’s not a big step but it takes baby steps to get priorities for a crisis in water management and quality set into motion. Let’s hope this will help spur further investment water research.

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