ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Plumbing Manufacturers International expressed its support for “W21: Water in the 21st Century Act.” The legislation – reintroduced in both the House (H.R. 291) and Senate (S. 176) – would formally authorize the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program and spur other initiatives promoting water efficiency, savings and sustainability.
Proponents of the legislation says droughts in California and other arid states are straining water supplies, creating an urgent need for cost-effective solutions. PMI and many of its member companies voluntarily participate as partners in the WaterSense program, which certifies and labels toilets, faucets, showerheads and other plumbing products that are 20 percent more water efficient than federal law and that meet performance standards.
Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director, said formal authorization of WaterSense would strengthen the program and encourage more consumers to contribute to water savings by voluntarily buying WaterSense products. “Real and immediate water savings can be achieved now, by simply retrofitting old, inefficient fixtures with high-efficiency toilets, showerheads and faucets,” she stated, in a letter to Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who reintroduced the Senate bill. The House bill was reintroduced by 26 representatives led by Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), John Garamendi (CA-03), Lois Capps (CA-24) and Jared Huffman (CA-02).
Consumers have saved 757 billion gallons of water and $14.2 billion in water and energy bills since 2006 due to WaterSense products, according to the EPA. See WaterSense is Common Sense for more program benefits.
Higgens noted that the WaterSense program also encourages innovation and promotes growth in manufacturing – an important economic goal. “WaterSense is win-win-win – for water savings, for consumers and for manufacturers,” she said.
In addition to PMI, the W21 legislation is supported by other water-efficiency advocates including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Western Recycled Water Coalition, WaterNow, the Clean Water Construction Coalition, the Northern California Water Association, the North Bay Water Reuse Authority and the WateReuse Association.