Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I thank Chairman Gordon for bringing this important bill to the floor to address water research needs. Access to clean and reliable water supplies is an issue that affects every community across our country. In my district along the Central Florida coastline, local communities also must deal with the impacts of major weather events, such as hurricanes, on our water supplies. However, this isn’t just a coastal issue, as recent floods in North Dakota and Florida and tornadoes in Tennessee and Alabama demonstrate the need to address this issue on a national level.
My amendment, which adds a provision to the Water Research Outcomes and Assessments section, mandates an assessment of the impacts of major weather events on our water supplies. Hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes can lead to saltwater intrusion, infrastructure damage, sewer overflows, and stormwater runoff that can harm our water supplies and surrounding environment. A better understanding of these impacts will aid local communities and states in addressing water supply issues before, during, and after major storms.
Combined with other provisions in this bill, including the requirement to develop innovative tools to enhance water treatment and water purification technologies, this amendment will help address the impacts of major weather events over the long run through the development and implementation of policies to prevent and mitigate such vulnerabilities to our water supplies.
A nationally coordinated assessment of the impacts of major weather events will ensure our constituents have access to safe, reliable water supplies without interruption, that providers will be able to meet federal standards, and that we will use our resources in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.