A bipartisan bill introduced by Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) will receive a hearing in the Water Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee on Thursday, July 25 at 10 a.m. eastern time. The bill, the Water Resources Research Amendments Act, would reauthorize an expired program which supports local water research institutes that solve problems and develop long-terms solutions on water quantity and quality in collaboration with universities, local governments, the water industry, and the public.
“The last drought made it clear that we need new ideas to grow and maintain our water supply,” said Harder. “My bipartisan bill will invest in cutting-edge state programs that we need to get that done.”
The Water Resources Research Act, originally passed in 1964, creates water resources research institutes in every state. The institutes work with stakeholders to develop locally-tailored solutions to water challenges, including supply. The program expired in 2011 and has not been reauthorized since. Harder’s bill will reauthorize the program through 2024 and update it to ensure it is targeted at modern challenges. The bill’s original cosponsors include Representatives Rob Wittman (VA-1), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Morgan Griffith (VA-9). Other cosponsors include: Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4), Richard Neal (MA-1), John Garamendi (CA-3), Gwen Moore (WI-4), and Henry Cuellar (TX-28).
The California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) is the state hub for the national network of water research institutes supported by the law. The CIWR is focused on developing research-based solutions to water resource challenges in California. The Institute provides research, resources, and events to assist the agriculture community in dealing with drought events.
Harder has placed a priority on working to grow and sustain the region’s access to water. In April, he introduced the Securing Access for the Central Valley and Enhancing (SAVE) Water Resources Act. The bill provides an all-the-above approach to addressing water issues facing the Central Valley and California by increasing storage opportunities, spurring technological water innovation, and making long-overdue investments in aging water infrastructure. The SAVE Water Resources Act received a hearing in the same subcommittee in June.