May 23, 2017

Senators Introduce Water Infrastructure Bill

Legislation expands availability of resources for water infrastructure projects, authorizes WaterSense program

New bill to expand availability of resources for water infrastructure projects

Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the “Clean, Safe, Reliable Water Infrastructure Act” (S. 1137) to bring affordable assistance to America’s water infrastructure systems.

The bipartisan legislation not only expands the availability of resources for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, but also includes formal authorization of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program, a voluntary, public-private partnership that encourages voluntary reduction of water consumption by consumers and businesses.

“WaterSense is an example of an effective collaboration between industry and the government in determining voluntary, water-efficient performance measures that can be used by consumers, industry, and state and local governments. WaterSense is not duplicated by any other organization, private or public,” said Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI) CEO/executive director. 

Higgens noted that authorization of this program will send a signal about the federal government’s willingness to support programs relating to water sustainability.

Boozman said he and Cardin teamed up in a bipartisan manner to address the growing needs of their communities. “Improving our nation’s wastewater systems and ensuring that Americans have access to clean water is something we can all get behind, especially when it is accomplished in a manner that promotes openness, competition and efficiency,” said Boozman.

Cardin added: “We also want to make sure that we are getting more bang for the buck, and that means using water more efficiently. It’s why our bill authorizes support for the WaterSense partnership that encourages voluntary reduction of water consumption by consumers and businesses, delivering more than $33 billion to consumers in water and energy bill savings.”

PMI will work with Boozman and Cardin on bill language that can advance in both chambers and be signed into law to formally authorize the successful WaterSense program. PMI and its member companies have participated and supported the WaterSense program for more than 10 years, since EPA launched the program in 2006.