The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) can put it in the win column. U.S. president Donald Trump has signed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), also known as American’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which officially authorizes the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program in perpetuity.
The act puts the WaterSense program into U.S. law, thus shielding it from changes by the president and his executive. After a 99-1 vote in the U.S. Senate, future changes can only be made through an act of Congress. Industry officials had feared that Trump would cancel the program. The voluntary water efficiency rating system for faucets and fixtures has been widely embraced by the plumbing industry and the buying public.
“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.”
Officials at Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) were also ecstatic about the passing of the act. One PMI-supported provision authorized the WaterSense program and funding to modernize the nation’s drinking infrastructure.
“Gaining congressional approval for WaterSense authorization is an achievement PMI, our members and our coalition partners have steadfastly worked toward for many years,” said PMI CEO and executive director Kerry Stackpole. “Authorization will provide certainty to the WaterSense program and its partners. It’s great to have the finish line in our sights.”
Products earning the WaterSense label are certified in meeting higher performance standards while being at least 20 per cent more water efficient compared to other products in the same category. More than 2.1 trillion gallons of water and over $14.2 billion in water and energy bills has been saved over the past decade North America wide, say officials.