In 10 years, WaterSense has helped U.S. consumers save more than 1.1 trillion gallons of water
The Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition marked the 10th anniversary of WaterSense on June 3 with a call for the program’s authorization, noting the EPA program’s achievements relating to water efficiency and savings.
In 10 years, WaterSense has helped U.S. consumers save more than 1.1 trillion gallons of water – more than the amount of water used by all the households in Texas for a year, the program’s website states. WaterSense has achieved this savings by working with organizations that have manufactured and promoted the use of more than 17,000 certified, water-efficient products bearing its label, including many organizations represented by PILC. While saving water, WaterSense has helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump and treat water by 146 billion kilowatt hours and has eliminated 54 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of planting nearly 1.4 billion trees.
PILC was founded by G.P. Russ Chaney, CEO, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Barbara C. Higgens, CEO/executive director, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI); and Billy Smith, CEO/executive director, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), who continue to serve as chairs of the coalition. They were among recent International Emerging Technology Symposium (IETS) attendees who presented a cake celebrating the anniversary to Stephanie Tanner, WaterSense lead engineer, after her presentation, “WaterSense, The Next Decade.” PILC also sent a letter to water policymakers, legislators and WaterSense staff congratulating the program on its 10th anniversary.
WaterSense authorization would signal a strong national commitment to water sustainability
Amendments authorizing the WaterSense program are included in both energy bills (H.R.8 and S.2012) recently passed by the House and Senate. The next steps are for Congress to reconcile the two bills and for the president to sign the final bill. WaterSense authorization would affirm the results of the past 10 years and signal a strong national commitment to water sustainability, which is threatened in some regions by drought and population growth.
While WaterSense has made great progress, there is still much room for improvement. PMI commissioned a study conducted by GMP Research last year that showed that nationwide only 7.0 percent of the toilets, 25.4 percent of bathroom faucets, and 28.7 percent of showerheads are WaterSense certified.
As the nation begins to develop ways to address water shortages and its aging underground water infrastructure, WaterSense stands as an outstanding example of what can be accomplished through a public-private partnership. WaterSense is a voluntary program that encourages partners to share resources toward the goal of consumer adoption of water-efficient behaviors and products. WaterSense also works closely with scientists and other experts in water systems to gain their input regarding product performance, thereby assuring customer satisfaction. Among the partners, which include many PILC members, are manufacturers, trade associations, retailers and distributors, local and statement governments, water districts, and builders.
Alliance for Water Efficiency – Association American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association – American Society of Plumbing Engineers – American Society of Sanitary Engineers – American Supply Association – Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute – Copper Development Association Inc. – International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) – International Code Council – Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association – Plumbing Contractors of America – Plumbing Manufacturers International – United Association (UA) of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada and Australia – Water Quality Association.