NGWA Supports Key Provisions of Science-focused Bill
National Ground Water Association (NGWA) representative David Wunsch told Senate subcommittee members recently that developing scientifically based strategies for sustainable use of groundwater resources is a key component in our ability to address the demands of an increasing population and to prepare for the potential adverse effects of climate change.
Testimony on the Science and Engineering to Comprehensively Understand and Responsibly Enhance (SECURE) Water Act took place before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
“Implementing the SECURE Water Act will help ensure data are available to effectively manage our water supplies and maintain their chemical quality to support population growth, economic growth, irrigated agriculture, energy production and sustain ecosystems,” said Wunsch, commending Committee Chair Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Ranking Minority Committee Member Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), sponsors of the bill.
“NGWA also concurs with the bill’s statement that ‘States bear the primary responsibility and authority for managing water resources of the United States,’ but ‘the federal government should support the states, as well as regional, local and tribal governments.’”
Wunsch urged the committee to consider bill modifications that would ensure sufficient funding and flexibility for states to gather data consistent with the goals of the act.
Additionally, Wunsch said NGWA urges the committee to:
- Ensure that water availability is considered in the context of water quantity and quality.
- Specifically list groundwater recharge and discharge as an important component of integrated water resources management planning.
- Include enhanced groundwater storage and availability as a potential strategy for mitigating water supply shortages.
- Add treating brackish groundwater or other impaired waters to the bill’s section on water management improvement.
NGWA further commended the bill’s inclusion of provisions to take into account the potential impacts of climate change on the nation’s water resources.
NGWA, a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 14,000 U.S. and international groundwater professionals—contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers—is dedicated to advancing the expertise of all groundwater professionals and to furthering groundwater awareness and protection through education and outreach.