U.S. House of Representatives spending bill supports continued funding of EPA’s WaterSense Program
On July 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a consolidated appropriations act for fiscal year 2021 that includes funding for programs within the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other related agencies. The Appropriation Committee’s report also includes language that supports the EPA’s WaterSense Program and directs the agency to continue funding the program at the enacted levels. The Senate has not yet begun consideration of fiscal year 2021 spending legislation.
Administered by the EPA, WaterSense is a voluntary, consumer product program that promotes water efficiency. Products bearing the WaterSense label meet high-performance standards while using at least 20 percent less water than products meeting federal water-efficiency standards. The program has saved $4.4 trillion gallons of water and $87 billion of water and energy expenses since its inception in 2006, and more than 34,000 WaterSense plumbing product models are available, according to the most recent WaterSense Accomplishments Report.
The Code Council is a long-time supporter of the WaterSense program and advocated to Congress for the EPA’s continued funding of the program at its enacted levels. The Code Council also supports the program through its participation in Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) — a trade association of plumbing product manufacturers that develop safe, reliable and innovative water-efficient plumbing technologies — which has been a powerful voice in support of WaterSense with members of Congress.
With a vision of safe, responsible plumbing, PMI advocates for plumbing product performance contributing to water efficiency and savings, sustainability, public health and safety, and consumer satisfaction. As a participating organization, the International Code Council regularly attends PMI meetings each year to gain insights into economic trends from expert presenters; to strategize about how to further their interests within the current political environment; and to educate lawmakers about the importance of the plumbing manufacturing industry, their critical role in water issues and how PMI members are the key sources on these matters.
The Code Council is also a partner in the EPA’s WaterSense program. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Listing Program is also licensed by the EPA to certify water-efficient products under the WaterSense program. Products and services that earn the WaterSense label with the ICC-ES certification mark are certified to be at least 20 percent more water-efficient without sacrificing performance. The International Accreditation Service is an accreditor of WaterSense certifiers. Additionally, the ASABE/ICC 802–2014, Sprinkler and Bubbler Design Requirements published by the Code Council and the International Green Construction Code references WaterSense efficiency specifications.
The Code Council family of solutions have several water conservation and efficiency resources available to assist jurisdictions, manufacturers and the public with water conservation and efficiency. For decades, the Code Council’s codes and standards have addressed water-related issues and it remains committed to working with member jurisdictions and industry partners to bring water-efficient products to market, labeling new homes and structures as more water-efficient, and spreading the word about the need for smart water use. Building, plumbing and green codes help guard this precious commodity for future generations through proper construction, conservation and safe disposal.