In response to the severe drought in California and the American southwest, this bill would expand rebates and grants for water efficiency, support water recycling and groundwater management investments, re-authorize water research programs, and create an open water data system.
First, the bill would create a "WaterSense program" to identify and promote water efficient products, services, buildings/facilities and processes.
The program would be run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who would offer grants to people and companies who are actively trying to conserve the nation's water quality and quantity. Aside from running the grant program, the EPA would also have to outline voluntary national drought guidelines to help the public prepare for water shortages.
The bill would authorize the Department of the Interior to financially support water projects (like water recycling, infrastructure, desalination, and storage) in states like California, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and many others.
An open water data system would also be created by the U.S. Geological Survey to make water research and assessment information more widely accessible. The Water Desalination Act of 1996 and water research and technology institutes through the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 would be extended through 2020.