Water Data Act Is Introduced into U.S. House of Representatives

The Water Data Act was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on May 19 by Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-New Mexico).

The Water Data Act is designed to transform and modernize water management across the United States by putting the power of data and science into the hands of communities, farmers, and water professionals.

The Water Data Act would:

  • Support consultation, coordination, and partnerships with stakeholders by permanently authorizing the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI)
  • Establish a national water data framework for sharing, integrating, and utilizing water data and supporting the development of innovative water data technologies and tools
  • Develop common standards for water data to better utilize existing and future data for use in countless tools and technologies to empower water users and managers
  • Organize and direct federal agencies that generate and use water data to work together
  • Establish a new grant program under the Department of the Interior to invest in improving water data in partnership with state, local, and other organizations
  • Invest in next-generation water data technologies and tools to transform water management.

NGWA has officially endorsed the legislation and will be working with Congress to pursue passage as early as the end of this year. There will be a hearing for the legislation’s Senate companion bill on May 25 in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“As the nation continues to face expanding drought and emerging contaminants such as PFAS and PFOA, the role of water data is playing a larger role in how we combat these challenges,” says Brian Snelten, PG, president of NGWA.

“The Water Data Act will give groundwater scientists and contractors the information they need to take on today’s water challenges and keep providing water to families and farms across the country. We would like to thank Congresswoman Stansbury for introducing the Water Data Act and urge Congress to work towards passage this year.”

A fact sheet on the Water Data Act is here and the full bill text is here.

For questions or comments on the bill, contact Ben Frech at bfrech@ngwa.org or call (800) 551-7379, ext. 1570.