Learn how this key bipartisan legislation supports water efficiency

by Brianna Crandall — September 17, 2018 — Last week, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) applauded the US Senate and House committee leadership on the bipartisan, bicameral agreement on comprehensive water infrastructure legislation announced on September 10. The measure, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, includes PMI-supported language formally authorizing the successful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense program, as well as key investments in critical infrastructure for the nation’s ports, harbors, inland waterways, and drinking water.

Over the previous two weeks, PMI actively engaged with key stakeholders in support of WaterSense authorization language being included in a water infrastructure package and says it is pleased to support this final compromise that provides for the continuation of the WaterSense program — a focused, public-private partnership that identifies water-efficient and high-performing plumbing products. Having a statutorily authorized program is said to be key to maintaining this important initiative.

PMI’s CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole stated:

PMI applauds House and Senate lawmakers for developing this bipartisan water infrastructure package, which includes WaterSense authorization, and strongly urges its swift passage. EPA’s WaterSense program is an example of an effective collaboration between industry and the government in determining voluntary water-efficient performance measures that can be used by industry and consumers, as well as by states and public and private agencies charged with supplying water to American households and businesses. Not only does WaterSense save water and money, it continues to drive innovation by US plumbing manufacturers to deliver water-saving plumbing products.

Under the WaterSense program, plumbing manufacturers have developed more than 27,000 models of WaterSense-labeled products, including showerheads, toilets, urinals, faucets, faucet accessories, and commercial pre-rinse sprays. Today, 1,700 WaterSense partners, including manufacturers, water utilities, building groups, retailers, associations and communities, collaborate on the program. Authorization will provide certainty to the program and its participants, says PMI.

PMI recognized the following members of Congress and their staffs for their strong leadership and long-standing support for passage of WaterSense authorization legislation that could be backed by many stakeholders: Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Boozman (R-AR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Tom Udall (D-NM), as well as Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), John Shimkus (R-IL), Robert Latta (R-OH), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), and Matt Cartwright (D-PA).

Products earning the WaterSense label have been certified as meeting high performance standards while being at least 20 percent more water efficient than other products meeting federal standards in the same category. Over the past decade, WaterSense products have reportedly helped consumers save more than 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $14.2 billion in water and energy bills. PMI and its members, as well as other valuable industry partners, have worked diligently over the years to formally authorize WaterSense.

The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to vote on the bipartisan water resources legislation shortly. PMI says it will continue to work to ensure that WaterSense authorization remains intact in the final package.

For more information about EPA’s WaterSense program or America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, see online.