The act authorizes more than $6 billion for water projects and continues the WaterSense program
On Oct. 23, President Donald J. Trump signed S. 3021, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” which includes language officially authorizing the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program in perpetuity. The signature of the act also includes more than $6 billion in funding for water infrastructure projects nationwide.
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.
According to the International Assn. of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), 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 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.
“The WaterSense program helps consumers find products that use at least 20% 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.”
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.