Water Coalition Wants Say in Climate Change Law

As Congress prepares to begin consideration of climate change legislation, a coalition of eight national water organizations called on senators and representatives to recognize the severe impacts that global climate change will likely have on water resources in the United States.

The groups -- whose members serve the vast majority of U.S. water and wastewater consumers -- urged Congress to ensure that upcoming climate change legislation includes federal support and incentives to help drinking water providers, flood and stormwater agencies, and wastewater systems confront the impacts of climate change.

In a statement (http://www.amwa.net/cs/climatechange) sent to members of the House and Senate in advance of next month's planned consideration of S. 2191, the "Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act," the water organizations stressed that "[m]any of the most critical impacts of global climate change will manifest themselves through the hydrologic system, and there is already strong evidence that climate change is having an impact on the world's water resources."

The organizations identified three broad objectives that Congress should include in comprehensive climate change legislation:

1. Research to develop and improve climate prediction models, necessary data resources, alternative water sources, new water management techniques, and evaluations of new carbon control technologies;

2. Federal and other financial support for climate adaptation projects, including infrastructure enhancements, that may be needed to neutralize the regional impacts of climate change; and

3. Incentives that encourage utilities, along with other small-scale emitters, to voluntarily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The water organizations believe their statement should serve as a framework for congressional action on the nexus between climate change and water. According to the organizations, enactment of their recommendations would be a significant contribution toward the sector's efforts to continue providing critical water service in spite of the effects of climate change.

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