The WaterSense program, a voluntary public-private partnership that has saved American consumers more than $64 billion on their water and energy bills since 2006, is now part of federal law for the first time ever.
President Trump signed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which lifts WaterSense from its status as a "discretionary" program. The law incorporates WaterSense into the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act. (42 U.S.C. 6201) as a new Section 324b. It will now qualify for annual appropriations rather than having to rely on the EPA administrator’s discretionary funds each year.
Until separate funding measures are enacted, both the House and Senate have included instructions in pending EPA spending bills directing the EPA to continue funding WaterSense from available funds.
“PMI applauds the efforts of the bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate who worked to codify the vital WaterSense program in the infrastructure package,” said Plumbing Manufacturers International CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole. “Gaining congressional approval for WaterSense authorization is an achievement PMI, our members and coalition partners have steadfastly worked toward for many years.”
Along with its members and other valuable industry partners, PMI actively engaged with key lawmakers and staff on the language formally authorizing and codifying the WaterSense program, a focused, public-private partnership that identifies water-efficient and high-performing plumbing products. Having a statutorily authorized program is key to maintaining this important initiative, providing certainty to the program and its participants.
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, 1,900 WaterSense partners – including manufacturers, water utilities, building groups, retailers, associations and communities – collaborate on the program.
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 helped consumers save more than 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $63.8 billion in water and energy bills.