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Rep. McNerney Takes ‘Smart’ Approach with Bipartisan Water Bill

Jul 21, 2015
Press Release
Introduction Follows Roundtable on Water-Energy-Tech Drought Solutions

Washington – Following through on his call for bold, forward-thinking solutions to address California’s historic drought crisis, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) announced that he and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) have introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a smart water management pilot program meant to spur innovative projects. Rep. McNerney announced the Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act at a roundtable discussion yesterday, in Stockton, CA, with technology innovators and representatives from the renewable energy, agriculture, business, and water recycling sectors.

“Californians are looking for leadership from Congress to address the state’s crippling drought and we cannot afford to keep offering up the same old ideas. We need to innovate and think differently about the water challenges we face by focusing on solutions that help create new water and use the water we have wisely. This is the only way to build sustainable drought responses and efficient water management for the future,” said Rep. McNerney. “This legislation would help jumpstart that process and invest in projects that result in the technological and scientific-based solutions we need to provide clean water efficiently from recycling and other sources, and to help communities make significant progress in water conservation.”

“I am pleased to join Congressman Jerry McNerney in introducing the Smart Energy and Water Efficiency Act to promote smart and effective programs to reduce our water use and environmental impact. Many of the hundreds of thousands of miles of water pipes in this nation are decades old and have the potential for costly and wasteful leaks,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16). “Innovative use of technology, including pilot programs like those included in this bipartisan legislation, is going to be an important part of creating a modern and efficient water infrastructure.”

Under the pilot program this legislation would establish, a utility, municipality, water district, or other authority that provides drinking water, water recycling, or water reuse services would be able to compete for project grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The projects would demonstrate and deploy novel and innovative technology-based solutions aimed at increasing the energy and water efficiency of drinking water, recycled water, and water reuse systems. They would also improve drinking water, water reuse, and recycled water systems to help communities across the United States take significant steps in conserving water, saving energy, and reducing costs. In addition these solutions would support innovative processes and the installation of advanced automated systems that provide real-time data on energy and water.

“This forward thinking bill presents the opportunity to harness innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technology to drive smarter energy efficiency and water management solutions. The pilot program will accelerate deployment of these cutting-edge solutions by demonstrating a repeatable foundation of building blocks, which can be customized to the nation’s diverse range of energy and water management challenges,” said Marjorie Dickman, Global Director & Managing Counsel, Internet of Things (IoT) Policy, Intel  Corporation.

Competitive grant selections for these projects will be based on a project’s anticipated energy and costs savings; the novelty of technology employed; how well it integrates next generation sensors, software, analytics, and management tools; the predicted cost-effectiveness of the project due to energy efficiency savings, water savings or reuse, and adverted infrastructure costs; and how the technology can be scalable and deployed across geographic regions.

Congressman McNerney is committed to pursuing and expanding bold, innovative solutions that create more water to help California address its severe drought crisis. Last month, Rep. McNerney introduced legislation calling on Congress to authorize 27 regional water recycling projects that can create water for irrigation, agriculture, conservation, and to increase the potable water supply.


Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.