Washington, D.C. — In another and to date most definitive victory for IAPMO and its like-minded industry partners dedicated to the long-term success of the program, President Trump today signed S. 3021, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” which includes strong language officially authorizing the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense® program in perpetuity.
Passage of S. 3021 statutorily imbeds the WaterSense program into U.S. law, shielding it from Executive action by requiring any future changes be made via an act of Congress. Previous victories merely secured extended funding year to year. The legislation passed the Senate by a 99-1 vote.
“In the past, the entire industry lived under the constant threat of WaterSense being eliminated,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO senior vice president of Government Affairs. “Fortunately, those days are now gone — we can now expect continued water savings, manufacturers and businesses can plan their future strategy with certainty, and the general public will know the label they have come to trust is here to stay. We applaud the efforts of congressional leaders from the House and Senate for codifying WaterSense.”
A true public-private partnership, WaterSense is a voluntary product efficiency labeling program that identifies efficient and high-performing water-consuming products. While EPA spends approximately $3 million a year to administer the program, it has saved consumers more than $33 billion in water and energy bills since the program’s inception in 2006. The program is widely supported across the building industry and has enjoyed bipartisan support on Capitol Hill throughout its existence. This support is not only due to the program’s successful outcomes, but also because of the quality and integrity of the products bearing the WaterSense label, which are the result of federal government oversight and third-party certification.
Because of the value of WaterSense to their business, employees, communities, and customers, more than 1,700 manufacturers, water and energy utilities, distributors, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, trade associations, and retailers nationwide have partnered with the program.
“The WaterSense program helps consumers find products that use at least 20 percent less water and less energy than other products, so consumers can vote with their wallet and pick the products that best meet their needs and values.” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “It’s why long-term reauthorization of the WaterSense program is so critical. I’ve been please to work with IAPMO over the past several years to keep the WaterSense program on track and going strong.”
Modeled after the ENERGY STAR program, WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the U.S. water supply by offering consumers a simple way to make product-purchasing choices that conserve water with no sacrifice to quality or performance. Services and products earning the WaterSense label have been certified as more efficient than average products in the same category without affecting performance. Such products include toilets, urinals, showerheads, bathroom faucets, landscape irrigation controllers and pre-rinse spray valves.
IAPMO R&T is a leading provider of WaterSense product certification in the nation and has been a U.S. EPA licensed provider, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), since 2007, certifying the first high-efficiency toilet (HET) to the standard in April of that year. To date, IAPMO R&T, part of The IAPMO Group, has certified thousands of such water-efficient products to the WaterSense specifications.