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Crapo, Risch, Cardin, Mikulski Introduce Bill To Continue Water Research At Land Grant Colleges

Washington, DC - In a bipartisan effort to protect our nation's water supply, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), ranking member of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, along with Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and James Risch (R-ID), have introduced a bill to continue funding for land grant universities in every state to research best methods for improving the safety and reliability of our water.

"Marylanders and all Americans must have reliable access to safe and clean water. But our water resources are under strain from a changing climate, crumbling infrastructure, contamination from pollutants and a proliferation of chemicals," said Senator Cardin. "The Water Resources Research Act has ensured that each state has critical funding to investigate local challenges to water supply and foster the development of new solutions and young scientists to work on these issues into the future."

"Water is critical to Idahoans and to our economy, and that means water research is also critical," said Senator Crapo. "This program funds the largest federal research network regarding applied water resource research, education, training and outreach. It ensures that states and universities - through the Water Resource Research Institutes - are able to research and address critical water issues into the future."

"This type of research is at the core of our land grant schools. With this funding they can continue their research and find solutions to water issues that impact our communities and citizens," said Senator Risch. "Cutting this program when many of Idaho's communities are already facing challenges to maintain clean, safe water and meet federal regulations would be irresponsible."

"By reauthorizing the Water Resources Research Act we will ensure that federal, state and local governments have the best information available about our water systems and how we can properly take care of them," Senator Mikulski said. "Our water supply is one of America's most precious resources and it is important that we keep it at its best."

S. 3363 - Water Resources Research Amendments Act of 2010 authorizes a nationwide, state-based network of water resources research institutes that are aimed at solving problems of water supply and water quality. The 54 Institutes are located at the land grant universities in each of the 50 states, the territories, and the District of Columbia.
The Act authorizes grants of $12 million per year for each institute to research (a) improvements in water supply reliability; (b) new ideas that address water problems or expand understanding of water and water-related phenomena; (c) the entry of new scientists, engineers and technicians into water resources field; and (d) the dissemination of research to water managers and the public. All grants are matched $2 non-federal for every $1 federal funds, leveraging the value of this federal investment. The bill also authorizes $6 million in annual competitive grants that focus on regional water issues. The current authorization extends through FY2011.