U.S. lawmakers have become concerned about groundwater problems in the United States, and thus the contamination of groundwater is rapidly becoming one of the hottest issues of 1987 and probably for many years into the future. The 100th Congress has seen a proliferation of bills relating to various problems involving groundwater: need for more data, funding of research, and development of standards for groundwater quality. Because round 50% of the nation's drinking water is obtained from groundwater, the available support is dependent not only upon the available quantity but also on the quality of that supply.
Because groundwater quality in general and groundwater contamination in particular provides such complex problems, final legislation probably will emphasize more research and more data collection. At present, a bill, the National Ground Water Contamination Research Act, has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Sam Gejdenson (D-Conn.), and a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. David Durenberger (R-Minn.). These bills renew action on a groundwater research bill that passed the House but not the Senate near the end of the 99th Congress. The bills address not only research but also promote a national program for the assessment of groundwater quality and a national clearinghouse for groundwater information.