Research into technologies and practices that help use water and energy more efficiently got a boost on Capitol Hill as the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 3598, the Energy and Water Integration Act. The act authorizes $60 million annually from 2011 to 2015 for the Department of Energy (DOE) to study and advance initiatives and research that increase water and energy efficiency, to study the effects climate change may have on energy and water resources, and to improve the understanding of what energy is required to provide water supplies, as well as what water is required to provide energy supplies.
The act also directs the Secretary of Energy to coordinate with other federal agencies to establish the Energy-Water Architecture Council (EWAC) with the goal of improving energy and water resource data collection, reporting, and technological innovation. The bill authorizes $5 million annually from 2011 to 2015 to accomplish this. EWAC will be led by the DOE, but also will include experts from relevant industry and academic institutions.