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In a victory for the plumbing manufacturing industry, consumers, water utilities and water conservation advocates, the EPA’s WaterSense program will be funded at fiscal year 2017 levels until Sept. 30, 2018, as part of a $1.3 trillion government spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.
Reflecting a bipartisan approach to addressing the nation’s water issues, the bill also contains increases for clean water infrastructure investment: $600 million for EPA State Revolving Funds (SRFs) – split equally between the Drinking Water SRF and the Clean Water SRF – for a total of $2.9 billion in funding; and $63 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) exceeding the previously authorized fiscal year 2018 levels.
“Plumbing Manufacturers International and our members and partners have worked diligently for more than a year to preserve and maintain WaterSense,” said PMI’s CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole. “Today is a victory for everyone who cares about assuring that water remains a sustainable resource in the United States. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to keep WaterSense funding in the fiscal 2019 budget.”
In particular, PMI applauds the Interior/EPA Appropriations Subcommittee members, led by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), for taking a strong stance for the continued funding and operation of the WaterSense program.
Plumbing products bearing the WaterSense label are at least 20 percent more water efficient than standard products. To earn the WaterSense label, products must also meet high performance standards and meet third-party certification criteria. Over the past decade, WaterSense products have helped consumers save more than 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $14.2 billion in water and energy bills.