Omnibus bill preserves WaterSense, provides water infrastructure improvements
The recent Omnibus Bill signed into law keeps the WaterSense program intact and fully-funded at approximately $3 million for the year. The voluntary partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identifies efficient and high-performing water consuming products.
It has been reported consumers have saved more than $33 billion in water and energy bills since the program’s inception in 2006.
“IAPMO and its many industry partners have worked tirelessly to show the broad support this important program enjoys,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO senior vice president of government affairs. “This coalition includes diverse voices — manufacturers, contractors, home builders, and environmental advocates; groups from across the political spectrum. For Congress to include such an explicit provision supporting WaterSense is a victory not only for U.S. business, but also for each homeowner who will continue to see water savings and ultimately lower utility costs.”
The bill also has the following funding provisions for water infrastructure improvements:
- USDA will get $1.057 billion to upgrade rural water and wastewater infrastructure;
- The Department of the Interior will get $196 million for the implementation of drought-related provisions of the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act of 2016;
- The EPA will receive $2.89 billion, an additional $300 million, in funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan funds, which helps state and local government fund water treatment and other infrastructure; and
- The EPA will receive new funding in the amount of $63 million for the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program that finances water infrastructure projects.