Plumbing Manufacturers International announced its support for W21: Water in the 21st Century Act, a bill that would take important steps to improve water-use efficiency by promoting water conservation, recycling, water projects and research, as well as formally authorizing the WaterSense program. The legislation was introduced July 31 by senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) along with U.S. representatives Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).
“PMI applauds senators Boxer and Feinstein and representatives Napolitano and DeFazio for introducing W21, which recognizes the importance of water efficiency and ensures support for the voluntary WaterSense program,” said Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO/executive director.
PMI and many of its member companies participate as partners in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-sponsored WaterSense program. The goal of the program is to decrease water use through more efficient products, services and practices, while ensuring product performance and encouraging innovation in manufacturing. Plumbing products bearing the WaterSense label are 20% more water-efficient than the current federal law without sacrificing performance; provide measurable water-savings results; and require independent, third-party certification. Manufacturers, water-related organizations and communities collaborate to make the program successful. W21 would strengthen WaterSense, enabling it to continue its labeling system for water-efficient appliances, plumbing fixtures, landscaping and new homes.
According to PMI, with an aging nationwide infrastructure that needs billions of dollars in upgrades and a number of states facing severe drought conditions, real and immediate water savings can be achieved now by simply retrofitting old, inefficient models with high-efficiency toilets, showerheads and faucets.
In addition, the measure would provide grants and rebates for water conservation and water efficiency, open federal financing for water recycling and management projects, and establish a water database at the Department of Interior. The bill also would reauthorize the Water Resources Research Act and the Water Desalination Research Act.
“PMI is pleased our lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are taking a proactive approach to conserving water and ensuring the plumbing products remain part of an important contributor to these efforts, along with the water utilities and consumers,” Higgens said.