Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Hearing - Research to Improve Water-Use Efficiency and Conservation: Technologies and Practices

Subcommittee on Energy | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Oct 30, 2007 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Witnesses

Glen Daigger, Vice President at CH2MHill

Ed Clerico, CEO of Alliance Environmental and Designer at the Solaire Project in NYC

Val Little, Director of the Water Conservation Alliance of Southern Arizona

Ron Thompson, District Manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District

John Veil, Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory

Press Release

WASTEWATER FROM OIL AND GAS DRILLING COULD BE PUT TO USE, WITNESS TELLS SUBCOMMITTEE

Washington D.C., October 30, 2007 – Today the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing to explore research to improve water-use, efficiency and conservation. Specifically, the witnesses were asked to comment on H.R. 3957, The Water-Use Efficiency and Conservation Research Act of 2007.

“We don’t have to look far to realize the devastating effects water shortages can have in our lives”, said Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Inglis (R-SC). “Fires threaten and destroy California, droughts debilitate crops in South Carolina and a number of other southeastern states, and global citizens have to travel farther and farther to have access to fresh water. By supporting research and development into enhanced water-use efficiency and water conservation, the federal government can help improve our national and global response to water shortages.”

One of today’s witnesses, Mr. John A. Veil, Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, discussed the numerous benefits of researching ways to clean and recycle what is called “produced water.” Produced water is water that has been trapped in underground formations, and is brought to the surface, as wastewater, when drilling for oil and natural gas.

Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) has long supported expanding research into recycling produced water. At the hearing, Hall said, “In my bill, H.R. 2483, I included a provision to address the wastewater that is produced during oil and gas drilling. This water is a constant nuisance for producers, but with R&D into removing solids from the resource, we can turn the approximately 15 – 20 billion barrels of water produced every year into a benefit. Research into produced water not only can be used for enhanced oil and gas recovery, but can also be used as an industrial and agricultural resource.”

Mr. Veil similarly encouraged the Subcommittee to include produced water research programs in H.R.3957. “Produced water is available in large volume, often in some of the most arid parts of the United States,” Veil noted. “It represents a valuable water resource. With suitable treatment, produced water can be beneficially reused to support various end uses. I encourage the Subcommittee to carefully consider produced water as an additional source of water that can be part of the research programs envisioned by H.R. 3957.”

Also testifying at today’s hearing were: Glen Daigger, Vice President at CH2MHill; Ed Clerico, CEO of Alliance Environmental and Designer at the Solaire Project in NYC; Val Little, Director of the Water Conservation Alliance of Southern Arizona; and Ron Thompson, District Manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

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