SEN. REID NEWS RELEASE:
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Sen. Harry Reid today introduced three water efficiency bills designed to save Nevada’s water supply through efficiency and adapting to the effects of climate change. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley will introduce companion bills in the House. These bills will help ensure that future generations of Nevadans will have access to the water they need to live. The bills are titled as follows: The Water Efficiency and Conservation Investment Act; The Water Efficiency, Conservation and Adaptation Act; and The Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration Act.
“Water is our world’s most precious and important limited natural resource,” Reid said. “Access to water is vital for every person and life form on this planet. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning doctor, once said that ‘water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.’”
“Providing tax credits and other incentives to encourage water conservation is one of the best ways to reward families and businesses for helping to save one of our most precious resources,” said Berkley. “This legislation can create an ocean of savings–one drop at a time–and that will help stretch our limited water supplies. Las Vegas and other communities along the Colorado River are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Failure to address global warming through the expanded use of clean energy will increase the water shortages we already face as even less rain and snow fall on the western United States.”
The Water Efficiency, Conservation and Adaptation Act will preserve our limited water resources by encouraging individuals to make their homes and yards more water efficient while helping states, local governments and water utilities adapt to the serious impacts of climate change on water resources.
The Water Efficiency via Carbon Harvesting and Restoration Act of 2009 provides for guaranteed loans for the acquisition or construction of biochar production facilities and for the development of biochar production technology that can be deployed to remote landscapes. These facilities and new technology will be put to work on the public lands turning Mojave Desert tamarisk, Great Basin excess pinyon-juniper and bark beetle-killed trees across the Intermountain West into biochar and bioenergy.
Finally, The Water Efficiency and Conservation Investment Act will encourage consumers to use water more efficiently and will create much-needed financing opportunities for states, local governments and water utilities to invest in water-saving infrastructure and renewable energy facilities to power water systems.
Nevada and the American southwest have experienced a combination of serious drought, population growth and climate change, which has put the water supply of tens of millions of Americans at risk. Saving water saves money and creates jobs. A $1 million investment in water efficiency is estimated to create between 15 and 22 jobs–more than double the jobs created by coal or oil investments.