The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a study on the three national scientific and technical challenges to adequate fresh water supplies:
1. Measure and account for the Nation's water
2. Develop methods that will allow expansion of fresh water supplies while using existing supplies more efficiently
3. Develop and improve predictive water management tools
A major proposal is to develop a National Water Census. At last fall's GSA meeting, Gene Whitney of OSTP (the only geologist in the White House) gave a talk on the Census, describing it this way: "Such a census would require us to develop and adopt data collection, data communication, and data availability standards and protocols for all surface water, groundwater, and water quality measuring and monitoring systems nationwide. A census would integrate existing water monitoring networks to provide uniform water measurements nationwide, and would develop a strategy to establish regional and national priorities for the highest level needs for surface and groundwater monitoring in the U.S. Such a water census might also include implementation of the National Water Quality Monitoring System."
The full report, "A Strategy for Federal Science and Technology to Support Water Availability and Quality in the United States" is posted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy at