tv State Officials Testify on Water Security and Drought Preparedness CSPAN August 7, 2017 12:50pm-2:05pm EDT
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>> many states across the u.s. have been dealing with drought this summer. to up states deal with the droughts the senate energy and natural resources committee held a hearing focusing on drop trap preparedness and water management. ge water technology division and state water agencies gave lawmakers the recommendations for increasing water supplies. this hearing is little more than one hour. [inaudible conversations] >> this hearing of the senate energy and natural resources a committee on water and power will come to order. the purpose of today's hearing is receive testimony on water supply and drought issues. we will hear testimony on a range of water related topics including infrastructure and supply, certainty in planning,
and innovative management practices that are critical to maintaining secure water supplies. this includes items that are crucial to arizona such as the colorado river drought planning and watershed restoration, better use of existing reservoirs, reliable water supply and drought protection cannot be achieved without storage infrastructure and forward thinking management and planning. oftentimes discussion i want a policy the federal level are dictated by costs however it's important that congress considers the various local community space as they plant and pursue new water projects. i look for today's hearing to hear how state and local policies encourage judicious water use and how permit streamlining and regulatory predictability can ensure all solutions are on the table. we will also about innovations in water treatment technology and project financing that can help with water infrastructure and supply challenges. we live in an age as we know you
expect when you turn on the tap that there's water there. that the water will always be there which means supply certainty is critical for managers. protecting the sanctity of state waters rights, resolving conflicts and collaborative planning as we will see today help ensure water certainty. as we've seen in arizona, providing the certainly can also find least private investment innovative partnerships that improve water management. finally changes to operation and management of existing infrastructure can be cost effective water strategy as well. i'm glad the committee water from several witnesses today who can speak to the importance of using the most up-to-date hydrology and forecasts and operating the existing reservoirs. i think we can learn from this testament and the last years drought legislation to try to address critical water needs for arizona emanation.
water managers on the ground of great ideas about how to increase water supply and drought resistant. i look for to working with them on these efforts. in addition to the expert will hear from today, we've received a number of written statements for the hearing record, and i will be considering that input as we move forward as well. as senator franken and i were talking just a bit ago, this is an important issue for arizona. i noted that for all of my life whenever it rains, no matter where i was living when i'd see rain, i'd had the instinct to call my dad because as an old rancher, that was when he was in a good mood. our favorite time as the family was taught in the truck as a good rain in to see which it draws were running, to see which stock tanks with phil. that was our version of excitement in snowflake arizona. but anyway, i'm glad we're having this hearing. i'm glad to ranking member kaine from maine and turn to him for
his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses for joining us this morning, especially my constituent from maine, welcome to washington at this time of year. like me you would probably rather be in maine on a day in august. as the chairman mentioned will hear from a range of points of you this morning on different approaches to maintaining the crucial healthy water supply. even in maine w we're not immune to the impacts of a fragile water supply during, due to drought conditions. we recently had our first drought in 14 years which impacted 70% of our state and every significant percentage of our states residents, i think it's almost half, depends upon wells for their water. and best drought finally ended this past april but it was a very serious matter for us. i understand my colleagues in the west probably are not very sympathetic to hearing about droughts in new england but they do occur.
all regions of the country have these serious issues. i'm looking forward to hearing about the different approaches that have been developed in other parts of the country. the critical nature of water management across the country has stimulated a variety of approaches to planning and financing. for example, will hear from martha shields -- martha sheils in regard to importance of green infrastructure improvements on the water supply. i'm also looking forward to how we can promote public-private partnerships in water infrastructure projects and use the lessons in other areas were infrastructure improvements are, in fact, desperately need. will also hear about the value of planning and flexibility that we can provide an water management help innovations in water use technology can make water management more effective. while we have different specific water concerns around the country, and needs to be in a pond where are, we can take
lessons from these folks have joined us this morning to think differently and use more creative approaches to water management. public-private partnerships, innovative infrastructure, technology solutions. so mr. chairman, thank you for calling this hearing. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses with their testimony. >> thank you. we'll turn to the witnesses today. thank you for joining us today. i will begin the panel with mr. thomas buschatzke, director of arizona department of water resources. i greatly appreciate a close working relationship we have had over the years and all that you done for the state of arizona on critical water issues. you've been an important water leader for the state and we always look fo forward to having you testify here before the senate. next we will have shirlee zane, chairman of the board of the sonoma county water agency. then martha sheils as mentioned project director for the new
england department of finance center. i must say that these hearings are typically western focused and so it's nice to have a witness here who will talk about things going on in maine. then we'll hear from heiner markhoff, president and ceo of ge water and process technology are finally water from mr. carlos riva, ceo of poseidon water. they do offer the testimony you will provide. we would like to limit the remarks he began to five minutes to have time for questions and your full remarks will be submitted for the record. and with that we will recognize mr. buschatzke. >> thank you and good morning, chairman flake, ranking member king and members of the subcommittee. i'm director of the arizona department of water resources. thank you for providing me an opportunity to testify on behalf of the state of arizona. i have submitted written testimony for the record and my comments today will highlight key issues in the testimony. arizona continuously develops and approves the legal
framework, policy prescriptions, institutions and infrastructure needed to secure its water resources, create certainty and prepare for drought. the state prioritizes internal actions but collaborates with the federal government. aggressive water management actions have resulted in the reduction in arizona's waters use while its population and economic output have increased. all while decreasing mind groundwater usage. for the past 20 years drought has been a constant in arizona. when shortage on the colorado river is declared, about 84% of the of the total fault to arizona. this knowledge tries robust drought mitigation programs in the state. now i want to share some examples of innovation water management actions in arizona. first, the palo verde nuclear generating station contracted for reclaimed water for cooling purposes in 1973, long before reuse became a common practice. in 1986 and again in 1984, the
activities are ongoing. over the past decade, it might unfold to healthy levels, even with the existing shortage criteria as reason to unacceptable levels. in response, arizona, nevada, california negotiated a draft contingency plan or dcp as it is commonly referred to. the dcp further incentivizes the river water and creates greater flexibility to recover some of that water. under the dcp, arizona and nevada would take reductions at higher elevations than for the first time california would take reductions to help protect critical elevations. draft amendments to the water treaty with mexico would have mexico take action in the dcp when both agreements are finalized.
arizona believes congressional authorization likely through this subcommittee, directing the secretary of interior to execute the dcp will be pursued when the dcp is finalized. that authorization would create certainty for the parties. as demonstrated i have outlined in our hands on deck approach is the future of the colorado river. within the state, we will do more of their existing infrastructure from the bureau reclamation and operators of this process completed the agreement this year, something chairman flake has been per in the department of interior to complete. it allows the project water and a clear pathway for the recovery underground and the transport of the water in this eap can now. two will be short of the colorado river productions and also allow exchanges between water users, which lowers their cost and creates flexibility.
the other opportunity is the use of modified result to increase this yield i 70,000-acre per year. compliance considerations and issues force interested parties to set aside efforts, streamlining the process similar to the amendment senator flake inserted into the bill last year to help it back to reality. in conclusion, the internal efforts to manage water resources and collaborative efforts on the colorado river will be more successful for oversight is minimized including processes are reduced or streamlined in privacy of state of managing water resources is honored. thank you. >> thank you, mr. buschatzke. >> thank you dear chairman flake, ranking member can come the members of the subcommittee for the opportunity to testify today.
many maturely thing and i serve on the board of supervisors in california and also as the board of directors for the water agency. very proud to be here today to provide a local perspective on water management. we believe securing our water future means investing in our water resources. water is life. we have the pleasure and awesome responsibility to deliver safe, affordable drinking water 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day. drought or flood, we must provide a secure water supplies. there are two points i would like to convey to the subcommittee this morning. first off, the rule curve used for reservoir operations are locally outdated and in dire need of update. secondly, western water managers require improved long-range forecasting a precipitation in order to manage water resources for both extreme wet and dry
conditions. we manage to reservoir projects that provide water supply for the people in sonoma in marion county. lake sonoma are dual-purpose reservoirs. the u.s. army corps of engineers flood protection function and the water agency manages water supply functions. the water control manual was created in 1959, nearly 60 years later has not been adjusted. in 2013, the court was required to release 25,000 acres of rainfall from the reservoir because it had to adhere to the antiquated rule curve despite weather predictions but no rain is forecasted. the reservoir dropped to 25% capacity later that season in sonoma county last water valued at tens of millions of dollars. we had updated rules curve in sonoma county would've been better positioned to adapt to the prolonged drought that followed in the next four years.
the unpredictability in our weather patterns and climate means we are constantly managing water supply with an underlying goal of becoming more resilient. not only is resiliency critical for security, but also makes sense economically. we embarked upon initiative in 2014 with federal and state partners to improve weather forecast modeling and managing operations. and reservoir after rations better known as spyro and the partnership with the court and bureau reclamation district institute of oceanography in the state of california as well as their agency. december the partnership released a preliminary viability assessment for lake mendocino and the document is attached to my testimony. our ultimate goal is to put into place a modern role for lake mendocino.
we in the west need better data and long-term forecasting to improve water management. in california we experience atmospheric rivers. these atmospheric rivers provide about 50% of the yearly rainfall in california within just a few storms. the frequency and location are the primary drivers of floods and drought. however, rainfall, forecasting beyond 10 days to 14 days remains unreliable. leadtime information about whether it is crucial for offering water supply and flood control infrastructure. these subsidies and seasonal rainfall forecaster critical for efficiency of water project operations. working with the western states water council to build a coalition of stakeholders that are committed to working with partners at noaa to improve forecasting capabilities. the need for global system to actually predict our weather pattern is critical.
noaa is reading the way. better science leads to better data and better data would greatly benefit operations. we are permitted to working with this committee and members in congress who support investing in better technology. we know that modern technology can be used more effectively to manage our reservoirs in california and all across the west. our future generations need us to act now to secure the water supply. thank you again for the opportunity to testify and i'm pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you, ms. zane. ms. sheils. thank you, mr. chairman. im martha sheils, director of the new england environmental finance center at the admin must be school of public service at the university of southern maine. knowing how busy you all are, i would like to make three key
points. first, clean water is essential for growing our economy, protecting our help in ensuring security of our nation. second, there is cause for hope in the numerous examples around our country on how state and local government are saving money investing in watershed conservation and sustainable management practices. finally, the federal government support although helpful should be expanded. clean water is a critical component and essential for attracting and retaining businesses, residences and tourists. in maine we now have to computer chip manufacturers with high-paying jobs as well as a proliferation of microbreweries all of which require high quality water and supplies. almost 20,000 jobs in the tourism sector depend. just as in maine, our entire country is ranked with numerous opportunities to protect and manage our watershed that
promote cost savings and provide multiple economic benefits from them. a great example located in senator kaine's backyard is the lake watershed. it applies some of the drinking water in the country to the greater portland area which is the economic engine of the entire day. the portland water district has a sustainable forest management program to keep the watershed health and the existing species and fire threat all with the primary object is about protecting the water quality but said they go lake. the bad news is 90% of the watershed is privately owned and development pressures are threatening the district epa filtration waiver. the district is considering a mix of management scenarios for private land that include ray. buffers, upgrades, conservation easements and sustainable forestry. these nature-based solutions cost approximately one third of what it would cost to build a new filtration plant.
if we add the other benefits like wildlife habitat protection, carbon sequestration and others to the avoided cost of not building a filtration plant, the net positive benefits increased tremendously. on a larger scale, new york city invested $1.4 billion to purchase conservation land in the catskill mountains. ultimately saving approximately $5 billion compared to constructing of a new filtration plant. protecting natural infrastructure also pays off by mitigating flood damages. tropical storm erin caused extensive damage is in vermont in 2011. they should have been even higher. they were far left because large conserved wetland complex absorbs the flood waters. same with coastal flooding and
increasingly vulnerable from sealevel rise and there are clear economic benefit from preserving coastal wetlands. in urban areas, it mimics nature and green roof and rain gardens are much more economical than projects commanding storm water and because green infrastructure installments, and did very well increase security by relying on a diversity of approaches rather than centralized facilities. the challenge remain in the rest of the country is to better use existing available funds to first of all protect existing natural infrastructure and second, to promote infrastructure that mimics more urban watersheds. finally, financing programs at the federal and state levels should require or at least
encourage economic analysis in the evaluation of projects that clearly show the cause, benefits and trade-offs of projects as in the portland water district in new york city examples. by doing so, the most cost effective project should be chosen to encourage savings and generate multiple benefits such as water quality, resistance to species, and, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities all at the same time. we need your help to tell these stories widely so that private and public landowners adopt sound financial evaluation practices that achieve multiple benefits. i'll leave you with this. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. help us work together to implement the most cost effective strategies to protect our vital water resources and also provide multiple benefits at the same time. thank you for your time. >> thank you.
mr. markhoff. >> morning, chairman flake, ranking member taken members of the subcommittee on water and power. thank you for the opportunity to testify with the importance of sustainable water future. my name is heiner markhoff, at the division within the public business. one of the world's leading advanced water treatment technologies with more than 50,000 customers employing roughly 7.5000 people worldwide. they are going portfolio predictive analytics with wastewater and process for a beauty and they overcome scarcity challenges and strengthening stewardship so far more than 4000 of our customers have cannot did and is optimize water efficiency or real-time responsibility to changing
operating conditions. overall, to continue our leading industry within the water industry, and we have $400 million over the next 10 years. just in march, announced a design an agreement to sell the technology business with the global terrorism solutions company with operations with water and waste management. subject to customary closing and we expect to close at the end of the third quarter. our strategy for water use program and technology development will remain and strengthen as we transition. according to market research, the population will grow by another 3 billion people by 2015. the growth in population will require 55% more water and approximately 70% more energy, a demand that cannot be met with current resources and even though the road is facing
increasing demand on water supplies would mean greater and materially address scarcity. it's estimated globally for% of wastewater is currently reused, but we now it is possible to reuse much more water. for example, in israel 80% of wastewater is reused. in singapore, 40% is met with what is called new water appeared here in the united states, approximately 7% 3% of municipal wastewater is reached, but nearly 16% of the 1.6 trillion gallons of municipal wastewater per year is reused with an increasing trend. in march of this year regarding perception of reusing wastewater consumption. reassuring with 49% willing to bring water from 30% just a few years ago. even though we work with communities around the world to help the wastewater, we also
focus industrial processes were water does not have to retreat to be safely used. the majority of my written testimony focuses on how it as water treatment solutions can be adopted by communities and industries to help address water scarcity, address the economics of reused and energy efficiency. deploying technologies across the system will help secure the future and i believe that our company and other technology providers and research and additions will continue to find ways to bring innovation to market. in addition to water use technologies, we have released a series of reports highlighting policy options for promoting more rapid action of reuse solutions and we have some publications that will make available. the major policy options include education outreach to provide information on and recognition on recycling and reuse effort.
reducing or reusing barriers such as the fact that there are currently no nationwide quality standards, providing financial regulatory or other incentives for water recycling ryazan mandating more water recycling and reuse. we believe our technology can unlock the power of water by adopting programs to whether climate cycles with wastewater for energy operation and by leveraging data with the industrial internet complex with water infrastructure and treatment challenges. thank you for holding this important hearing and for the opportunity to present this testimony. i look forward to questions and working with you to address these challenges. >> thank you. mr. riva. >> chairman flake, ranking member team, good morning thank you for inviting me here today. my name is carlos riva and
president and chief executive of poseidon water. we are a development company that delivers large-scale complex infrastructure projects to public water agencies through public-private partnerships. my written testimony describes the key characteristics of a business model which is now widely used in areas such as the u.k., canada and australia and is getting except dance around the world as a way to speed up infrastructure delivery without adding to public debt. my own company, poseidon water has been developing water infrastructure in north america for more than 20 years. if 50 million-gallon per day seawater desalination plant, which is the largest event in the western hemisphere and is now serving california. it was constructed on time and on budget and today supplies about 10% of the counties daily
water needs. today i would like to make for brief and simple points. first, we must anticipate and plan for future water supply challenges that are brought on by factors such as population growth, economic growth, existing water systems and changing climatic factors. it takes years to implement projects to meet large-scale water needs. we cannot afford to wait until there's a water crisis. now more than number is the time for closer cooperation between the public and private sectors to meet this challenge. across the u.s. come in many water systems have gone three or four decades with very low investment in the capital needs to bring our water system up to modern standards is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. given today's harsh political realities, public water agencies budget simply cannot cover this
gap here fortunately, many private investors are willing to invest through the vehicle of piii for the modest but that the long-term occurrence offered by infrastructure projects. third, to skeptics who fear a loss of public control over crucial public facilities let me emphasize the key point, a well designed petri project is very different from outright privatization. it is in reality an alternative method of project delivery were defined concession. the specified performance obligations. i'd be happy to illustrate the difference by focusing on the example with san diego county water authority. in this case, the water agency exercise a high degree of control over the design and operation of the project and ultimately will assume ownership of the plant with the contract. fourth and finally, there is simple but significant steps that congress can take to remove barriers to this business model.
my testimony describes a few proposed reforms such as caps on the use of private activity bonds or paths which could be listed. also, the bureau of reclamation financing authority could be brought in three programs similar to the recently announced it program at epa, which is itself based on the successful model for transportation projects. restrictive budget scoring rules related to piii repayment streams should be re-examined. let me close by noting that in the united states we've long since come to accept and embrace private financing for many other types of infrastructure serving public needs such as transportation, energy and telecommunications. i feel the time is right to bring this approach to renewing our water systems in a specifically to the model public-private partnership. where the model says, it offers a win-win for everyone at a time when our country needs a nonpartisan when.
water agency can meet their service obligations and concerns are borrowing capacity. the privacy or was that the capital, consumers get the benefit was not as much infrastructure on a faster schedule and everybody works together for the good of the citizens in the overall economy. thank you and i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you all for your testimony. we will start a round of questions. i will start with tom. he pointed out in your testimony that has to ever zone as water river supplies taken under the shortage and efforts underway to keep water on the lake. you talk a lot about this. leicester department of interior provided an assurance that the arizona conserved water but not be delivered across the water in california. it is my understanding that tcp has a current fix that is the so-called system water. if the dcp will not take into
effect until next year at the earliest, are we operating once again without doi assurances? >> chairman flake, we do not have those assurances in writing. we would like to see that happen this calendar year. the assurances we had last year ran out at the end of 2016. it is imperative that can serve water stay in the lake. the efforts of arizona, nevada, california and mexico over the last several years. they actually avoided shortage in 2015, 2016 and 2017. so it's critical that water stay in the lake and the certainty that commitment from the department of the interior would give us what allow us to continue to go ahead with confidence that the money we are spending is going to be well served. >> perception by some as the drought ended in the west with the rain and particularly the sierra nevada.
what has the weather we had in the upper basin, has that changed the equation at all for the lower basin? >> it has reduced the probabilities that will go into shortage or fall to over shortage levels in the future. but it kind of petered out in the spring and between march and june we lost about 18 million-acre feet out of the runoff projection. it gave us a brief respite, but there is still more to do and without the water conservations we've done right now, we might even be in shortage in 2018 despite the good winter we had this year. >> the testimony of cover the use of reclaimed water, recycling that we have in arizona. frequently we hear about water recycling.com when it's talked about, it comes to request that the federal government to come in and build a treatment plan for recycling projects.
in arizona wasting projects from tucson to phoenix to prescott to treat those that do not require federal funds. can you explain how arizona state water law treats affluent and how it has created situations where private entities have incentives to invest. >> chairman flake, the affluent contract earlier stirred a lawsuit in arizona and the supreme court in 1989 did rule that treated wastewater is the property of the entity that treat it. that really did incentivize folks were doing reviews, building plans, building infrastructure. i think the certainty that the legal framework created in arizona has led to arizona using quite a bit of its water for use in the phoenix metropolitan area almost 100% the same in the tucson area.
so the leaders and reuse was one of the key factors to achieve that goal. >> thank you. mr. markhoff, you mentioned the use project of analytics to better utilize the systems and private investment. explain not. people with predictive analytics are being used everywhere, but explain how you use water. >> what we are really talking about is in different areas. one just looking at the plant operation is with asset performance management to develop, improving productivity, improving efficiency, predict being down times and taking preemptive measures and basically protecting and prolonging the asset life of the plan operations. if you look outside of the plant
itself we have large infrastructure and there is a whole slew of different tools to protect leakage is, to address non-revenue water basically preventing leakage is to preemptive maintenance activities. and together with analytical tools and analysis, this clearly hopes to drive improvements in operating productivity and efficiency. >> senator kaine. thank you, mr. chairman. ms. zane, struck by your testimony and the desire for more certainty and more science in terms of predictability was just a crucial element. what bothers me is the budget recently submitted by the administration cuts the noaa budget by 16%, cuts research in noaa by 32% and even cut the national weather service by six
are sent. you said we need better data to better manage. i would say we also need better data to make better policy. i find that very concerning for all of the work that we are doing here. if we don't have the data and the predictability, it will simply aggravate this problem. would you agree? >> 100%. we've got to invest in technology and just to remember what it cost us when we don't invest in technology. we went down to 25% because the corps of engineers verse of any role based upon the upcoming precipitation. on the other hand, we've been able to keep more water this last season where we had our russian river flooded three times. so basically, one year sonoma county was declared both an emergency in terms of the drought and in terms of flood. we really truly know that
extreme differences. i think it's all about investing in the innovation. it is about better forecasting of this guy said that we can better manage water off the ground, whether as an integral part and we do know that even with the science that we've now been working on, if we installed a proper radar along the coast there in northern california. we are going to have basically a forecast that is a three to four day and dance to the repair for floods and to keep out water in the reservoir. the precipitation in california and not a thing we've got to try. we are scenic and extreme weather different is and i couldn't agree more. noaa has been an integral partner of ours in terms of looking at the forecasting, and increasing the technology
generally efficiency and cost savings. >> i want to get to that. mr. buschatzke, is there some calculable maximum, looking big picture here of gallons needed per year per person in a given area or in the country are in the southwest and are we bumping up against a lot? how do we calculate? can we continue to observe the growing population in phoenix and los angeles? so certainly senator kaine, there is a calculation for gallons per day per person. i think it varies in different parts of the country. certainly in arizona where it doesn't rain much, the outdoor use that attaches are at home, for example, you need water to meet that demand said they would be a very different number than perhaps the east coast. perhaps the east coast is 50 or 60 gallons per day in arizona.
150, somewhere in the range of the more reasonable number. >> well, okay. is there sort of global calculation of what is the potential for either conservation or reduce. is it a third, a half? can we invent our way out of this problem? >> we haven't gotten to desalinization yet. let's talk about the potential for simply low flow toilet, just more conservation measures. so, at least in arizona, senator kaine, we have been doing conservation since 1980 and we reduced in the population centers are gallons per day by 25% to 30% and in some cases more. we have projected out our future supplies and demands and we know that conservation alone will not achieve the goal of keeping up with growth in the population
economy. we do know however that readers might fill as much as 50% over a future growth projections. >> those are two areas we've got to absolutely concentrate on. >> absolutely. ms. have to come u.k. this calculation but it's an important one. can you dollar value that natural protection buffers and the lake versus filtration? i think you gave a figure i'm not. >> yes, in the case of the sebago lake watershed, in order to preserve the needed infrastructure of the forest around the lake, it cost a third. it cost a third to last than to build a new filtration plant. i would do the same work now. >> to follow-up on that, are there differences in abilities
to finance those two solutions? in other words, can you get federal grant for full tradition planned, but not for acquiring buffers? >> you can get some grades for filtration plant and some federal programs, but for acquiring land, it is much different. some state revolving fund to finance the purchase of land by drinking water utilities. but they don't allow the coordination of purchase with land trust who might be interested in that same piece of land. >> i would be interested if you could supply us for the record of this sort of comparison between buying a filtration plant and protecting naturally and what policy, tax policy, grand policy, à la works. i am interested in whether we are providing sufficient incentives to do it naturally as
opposed to mechanically. >> well, so one thing doing it naturally is always less good in the case of sebago lake. >> i understand not. are there perverse incentives or penalties, tax benefit? you don't have to answer me now, but for the record if you could supply that. i would like to see a comparison of how tax policy, grand policy, regulatory policy affects the two solutions. >> i can provide you that. let me just say it's important to know all the benefits and put them in the avoided cost number. we know the avoided cost of building a filtration plant is the cost of that filtration plant that you don't have to build. but to value the nonmarket values of recreation and carbon sequestration and all those other nonmarket values, there's
really not an easy way to do that. if we don't count those costs, then we are underestimating the benefit. so i will get you that analysis. thank you, mr. chairman. >> all turned to the man who had more legs than can to chew and. senator frank and. >> now, we actually have more constituents. it is called the land of 10,000 lakes. we have 14,000 lakes and i have about five-point size million constituents. math is not my game. >> yes. well, let's talk science. which i believe involves math sometimes. science projects by the end of the century come in the western united states will face higher temperatures coupled with more intense droughts.
in the midwest, we will face weather events and resulting flooding. as a result, we need to prepare for these changes by adapting or modifying our infrastructure including our dams and levees. ms. zane, you have been working to manage water infrastructure during those droughts and flooding in the past few years. what can the federal government do to help communities prepare water infrastructure for a changing climate? >> you have to invest in technology. in fact, without the technology, you're not going to have more accurate forecasting. we are basically using the midwest, but you have more thunderstorms there. u.s. technology on the west coast.
the problem is you have radar at a certain elevation. and it's not being detected. if we invested in technology today, we would be able to know for days, five days in advance where the atmospheric rivers said. you know, we literally lifted the state of emergency throughout the winter time because the russian river crested over three times and we had to evacuate literally thousands of people and animals. we got a $6 million fema grant and putting $4 million into the general fund. that fund. that to me is wasted dollars because we could better prepare for these floods and keeps out water and a reservoir and we have a $6 million agricultural industry in sonoma county and a biological opinion that are coming back in terms of our
species. but if we have that technology today, i believe we could do such a better job and not waste 1 dollar or one drop of federal funding when it comes to those emergency disasters. i couldn't be more disappointed that technology and research was kind in this recent budget. i think it is the wrong way to go and i agree with senator king, it's got to be technology and data with the foundation for all good policies. >> i am concerned about the cuts being made. step three of course and all kinds this committee -- i mean, the whole energy committee we are talking about with investment on energy efficiency,
renewable energy, that sort of thing. ms. sheils, welcome. i love maine. my wife is from maine. in your testimony come you highlight the accordance of green infrastructure and rebuilding natural systems like wetlands to protect water by a billion more expensive forms of traditional infrastructure projects. i just had the planning general army corps of engineers and as we were, they dredge mississippi a lot and to keep the channels open for shipping is absolutely important. we have a situation where they dredge material to the point where they're going to have to dump it on somebody's farm, you know. one thing he talked about work,
you know, creating wetlands and he's hoping that he can find the solution. can you talk about these type server infrastructure project and how they can be beneficial, especially in light of the changing climate? >> right. yes, definitely. more extreme weather events off and down the east coast is affecting communities tremendously in protecting the wetlands that are already in place is always, the most cost effective way to manage and waters on the coast. restoring wetlands is another way to do that. and then, the last thing as creating wetlands, like you are talking about. that is not cost effective as the pros do the flood damage you get if you don't have the natural system to absorb the waters. i talk about vermont and how and iran have or not so hard and
wetlands that all these damages because it's basically impervious services. downstream from that, where there is this enormous wetland, flows for much less than damages for much less as well. we have to just look at the costs and benefits that will always read cheap than to deal with the consequences. >> you know, they're significant conservation benefit remediating fish and wildlife habitat and reestablishing local species. >> subtly environmental, but social benefits and economic benefits at the same time. >> you are nodding a lot, ms. zane. why? >> well, because we have been spending the last nine years
with the corps of engineers and their private landowners. basically, implementing a biological opinion. we have yet to be sued. we have worked really well with our landowners and we are seeing great restoration in terms of some of our endangered species. fish in particular. i grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and it's all over the west with my father. we will often say the sonoma county water agent be our water supply and quality is healthy. we really use that as a measuring stick. i would invite you all to come out and take a look at some of those construction projects in terms everett during fish habitat along the tributary of the russian river. they are quite incredible. some of the best wind chill of her drink or the people who own that property are making those
wines and they are working hand-in-hand with us to implement that biological opinion. >> i am over my time. just unbelievable beautiful as is maine. arizona is gorgeous. where the rest of you from? i forgot. [laughter] i'm sure it's a beautiful country. we should be very proud of. thank you for working on our water infrastructure. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator franken. mr. riva commie talk about desalinization. i took a couple survival trips are the only water i can drink is what i use a manual desalinate or four and i it takes a lot of time to produce enough water and a lot of pressure with a little manual
this elevator as well. the big issue is power use. i assume that is a big cost. tell me, with california producing a lot of intermittent power, with solar, does that provide benefits and opportunities for desalination, where you can kind of take the time that you actually use the hardware? tell me about power and intermittent use and how that is eating or helping your industry. >> thank you. power is the major component of the cost structure of desalinated water. so for instance, for every gallon of water that we produce, roughly half of that represent capital. a quarter of that represent offering costs that are nonpower and another quarter represent the cost of power. over the course of the last decade, the amount, the
percentage of the power and the overall cost has been declining as there's been a lot of technology innovations darting with the improvement in filters, improvement in different energy recovery systems and the like. but in terms of where you get that power from, in the first instance, we feel very strongly that we need to find ways to maximize the use of renewable energy. in order to address the powers i. we do it actually i'm right because there's just not enough room to put solar or wind or rate to do that. we will do rooftop solar where we can. what we would like to do is to be able to access some of the renewable energy that is being produced remotely in the area california and to bring us to this site. that is currently not possible
for us under california law, but it's something a number of people are working on direct access. finally, the issue that you raised, which is the ability to take low cost power where there is an excess of power and then alter your operating mode in order to accommodate that. that is another potential area which we are looking at. in our carlsbad unit, there is less potential to do that than another new build like the project we are building in huntington beach where there's much more water storage and that is really the issue if you have more capacity than you can produce more off-peak and cut rack. this is all very active while it works for us and work with the california electricity commission because there is really a water nexus that is important to understand.
>> between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. everyday, california is pushing no cost power on the eastern grade to arizona and talked about how that could be used in terms of pumping the biggest single lottery user in arizona is a project to pump water and in fact could be done at times when intermittent power is cheaper and it certainly helps out. mr. buschatzke, we talked a lot about the colorado river and with regard to storage and water banking and wheeling and what we really haven't talked about his service water in arizona that helps utilize. talk about for a minute the importance of arizona's own watershed for northern forest brings out and how we can better utilize or make sure that we are
taking full advantage of every drop of rain that falls in arizona, not necessarily in the upper basin and flow into the colorado river. how important is that to arizona's water feature and what do we need to do? >> senator, our in-state supplies are critical. out of her 70 million acres under budget, 17% of that comes from the rivers. the river itself results in the main reservoir they are. it has potential capacity dedicated to it. again, if we could use that flood control capacity to store water in the summertime when it's very unlikely we are going to get any major runoff events and we can increase the yield as the salt river with 70,000 acres feed is highly variable, but we need to maximize every drop of water that we have from our in-state sources.
>> a healthy forest with fewer trees, less choked, that is a better system to have certainly been what we experience now. is that true and how important is it to manage our forests? a lot of benefits obviously economic and otherwise in terms of water, is there an imperative to better manage our forests? >> senator flake, absolutely. we estimate increased settlement days they were less than 50 trees per acre. that is grown now to over 1000 trees per acre. using a lot more water. >> kind of like straws on the ground. >> also creating a lot of fire danger. we've had an increase in the number of acres burned over the last several decades from 85,000 acres in the 80s to over 2 million acres in the 2000. again, choking the runoff in the sentiment that comes after those
fires. we do see are reservoir capacity causing issues they are. the health of the forest is key. we do have a forest restoration project under way. what we have seen is that we need to find ways to incentivize private industry to come in so that they can take advantage of those wood products, so the restoration and that's been underway so far is kind of been hampered by the fact we can create these industries to actually comment and use the wood products than the cost of just doing the spinning without being able to march in the wood products is to get private industry in there. >> okay, we talk a lot in this whole committee and i just wanted to bring it back to the importance of water as well because that's not talked about as much. senator kaine. >> first, i want to ask each of you. there was that the situation and said i wish i'd looked at this very wished i'd made this
recommendation. be thinking about what we can do in federal policy to help the areas you are working on, whether it tax policy incentives, regulation, what are the things because that is our business here is taking laws and to the extent you can provide some backup thoughts, white paper! what a very helpful. mr. reeves, i'm desalinization, obviously a huge potential. gigantic ocean. what is the cost of a gallon of diesel alan icewater created by desalinization versus a gallon of water that comes out of -- comes through a water supply from traditional resources? >> i think it is fair to say that it's more expensive than existing water supply because
it's a new water supply. >> my question is how much marks is it? twice as much? >> it depends on the system but it could be on the order is twice as much. but i think the reason for that is that the existing supplies have basically committed all of the existing inexpensive water. and so then you are left with -- >> attire to breathe deep, free, stays out of the sky. it requires minimal treatment or brown water, but if that is available to you freely, and the community is going to go to that. it is where you get eon not, because those supplies are diminishing or there are restrictions on them or because there is growth, population and the lake. conservation is obviously a critical part of that. i think for a healthy system that is resilient to the type of
events of climate in the lake that senator franken was talking about, you need a diversified supply system. to me, resilient sequels diversification and i think it is an important piece of that. >> and will likely become more so as population increases in the amount of fresh water remains constant. >> but that raises the question. i'm not quite sure who to address this too. maybe you, mr. buschatzke. the issue of cost. i have a friend who is a car dealer and he tells me that you can draft to a precision when gas prices go down he sells more trucks. when gas prices go up, he sells more priya says. i mean, it is very clear. we haven't really talked about cost. to the extent that there is going to be conservation technology invested in reuse,
all of those things, don't those go back to what the cost of the commodity is in people will conserve more if it is more expensive than there'd be more creativity in terms of result. my friend from ge, you are nodding. is that an accurate perception? >> yeah, i would definitely agree with that. >> of gasoline were 20 cents a gallon, we would all be driving. >> you see that in the middle east. but we see that for the price of water reflects the real value of water. that is why you have more constant conservation activities and that's where you have more new technology being applied to be able to reuse water and provide a broader mix of water sources to address future needs so i think you're absolutely right there. >> well, i supplies and demand increases and dwindle, that is
going to be a logical outcome that would seem to me just in terms of the market. we will see more developments in terms of conversation. i'm not advocating higher prices for water, but that is an inevitability as we go through different technologies, whether filters were desalinization or reuse dual systems within cities for drinkable water versus water used for other purposes. >> yeah, i want to get back to investing in technology because we've got to understand what the weather is going to do to save water and conserve water. >> woodmore storage be a partial answer here from when you have these dorms so you can buffer and store the water when it's dry. >> the store just to be in the ground at this point.
california is the last state in the western states now with any regulation in terms of groundwater. we are just beginning to kick that off now. i think the answer is we need to find better innovative ways of storing our water in the ground. and at the same time, maximizing their reservoirs. you ask what we would like to share with you. we would like to work with you that do involve the core and kind of and for size that those projects need to be implemented or initiated by the local water sponsors. i did a little research and the corps operate in all of your state. it is one of the legislation that senator flake and senator feinstein have authored, which
we appreciate that legislation. so again, i just want to stress technology and better science. i think we would have saved this country billions of dollars in emergency mitigation funds if we could figure out the technology in the forecasting. >> thank you all for your testimony. just a couple minutes left in the vote is senator kaine and i have to run to. we've certainly scheduled an issue to get this. to come off. we are pleased that we are able to do so in a day. i want to thank the witnesses further testimony. we really touched on some helpful issues here. the last congress we were able to put together addressed the committee and the needs that we have been a think between that bill in the testimony we have heard today, we will have the material to put together another water supply and draft bill that deals with a lot of the issues we touched on today.
the information of the members in question's been submitted for the record must be submitted for the record before the close of business on there is day. the record will remain open for two weeks. we asked the witnesses to respond and will be made part of the record. with thanks to the committee, this hearing stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> the trump administration risk bonds to russians order to remove hundreds of us diplomats from his country by september 1st. according to secretary of state, rex tillerson. russia did this in response to new sanctions passed by congress and signed by president donald trump. president called the sanctions seriously flawed. he later blamed congress for the us russia relationship. he tweeted the us relationship with russia is at a very dangerous low. coming up on c-span to we will
show you china's president speech on the 90th anniversary of china's people's liberation army at a ceremony in beijing. later, a panel of journalists last month discussed the global influence of the press in his affecting people who work in media. at 4:00 p.m. eastern lawmakers discuss prescription drug access and costs. watch all of this in more on c-span2. >> tonight on c-span actor in film maker rob reiner sits down with columnist david to talk about possible threat to american democracy posed by russia. here is a preview. >> imagine a meeting with vladimir in the spring or summer of 2016 or whenever it happened and someone said i have a brainwave. you know that candidate hillary clinton who is ten-12 points ahead in every poll we will mount an intelligence operation
to beat her and help the most implausible presidential candidate ever. we think we will be able to make a difference. you need to know, sir, this is a risky operation because she has friends and i don't even think her best friends would say a forgiving temperament is one of her outstanding qualities. if this goes wrong for us you will be alone in the room with the new president of the united states who is going to be very angry with you. the fact that vladimir putin said i will take that risk is an example of someone who is not a prudent calculator of risk. he is taking wild risks. >> you can watch the entire interview tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tonight on the communicators. we are at the black cat conference in las vegas with
jeff moulton, executive director of the stevenson national center for security research and training at louisiana state university. >> the hospitals are attacked daily and the federal government, banks, getting lacked daily. we have to live with the stress. we have lived for millennium with the flu virus. they never eradicated the flu virus. we learn to live with it. you do certain things when you know that you are exposed and the flu is going around, you get a shot in inoculate yourself and isolate yourself from other folks who have the flu and the hygienic measures that you take in the physical world that are now in the other world. >> watch the communicators tonight at eight eastern on c-span to. >> china's president delivered a speech last night trent month to mark the 90th anniversary of china's people liberation army. during the ceremony, he talked about efforts to modernize the army