Testimony on Reauthorization of Water Desalination Act of 2011

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Separation of State and Water

Water availability is a core infrastructure concern; today, that specific legislative concern is over what a federal role in water desalination should be. CEI’s view is that policymakers should strive to increasingly subject water policy decisions and investment to the pressures of the marketplace.

Unneeded Spending

The bill at issue, H.R. 2664, to reauthorize the Water Desalination Act of 1996,1 would reauthorize $2 million annually through 2016 for water desalination projects at the Department of the Interior.


The Secretary of the Interior hall operate, manage and maintain facilities to carry out research, development, and demonstration activities to develop technologies and methods that promote brackish groundwater desalination as a viable method to increase water supply in a cost-effective manner.

Granted, it’s not a lot of money. But America’s economy is faced not with just scarcity of water, but scarcity of funds. Perhaps even more importantly, federal spending’s effects reverberate beyond the dollars.