IAPMO, publisher of the Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard (WE•Stand), an American National Standard since 2017, applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal partners in the creation of a new Water Subcabinet chaired by the secretary of the Interior and EPA administrator.

EPA recently announced designees for the Water Subcabinet established by the “Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure” executive order signed on Oct. 13. The Water Subcabinet will be responsible for implementing the strategic direction and specific actions of the executive order to improve federal water infrastructure and prioritize access to essential water supplies for all Americans, goals in line with WE•Stand as well as IAPMO’s recent work with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) developing protocols for water infrastructure impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Water Subcabinet will bring a finer focus and greater efficiency to the federal government’s efforts to ensure all Americans have access to safe drinking water, reliable rural and farm water supplies, and clean water for recreation and enjoyment — goals made even more timely by Wednesday’s celebration of Imagine a Day Without Water, the national education campaign highlighting water’s essential nature. IAPMO supports these efforts and encourages the designees to consider WE•Stand as a means of achieving their goals.

“For many years, the federal government’s efforts on water policy have been separated across many agencies,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO executive vice president of government relations. “The United States faces a wide variety of challenges in the water sector, from water quality and scarcity to aging infrastructure and affordability. These issues not only threaten public health but are already impacting it. This new cross-agency subcabinet represents a significant step forward in coordinating the federal resources focused on these complex water challenges. We hope this effort will continue to be refined and grow beyond this year’s presidential election.”

Under the executive order, the Water Subcabinet will improve water infrastructure planning by promoting integrated planning and coordination for drinking water, wastewater, water reuse, water storage and delivery, and water resource management.

As a leader in developing resources designed to meet the unique challenges faced by communities in America, IAPMO applauds this effort. The 2020 WE•Stand contains the most progressive provisions available related to water reuse, and in particular the onsite use of grey and black water. Its updated pipe sizing requirements alone promise to deliver the greatest cost savings of any other provision in decades. Additionally, earlier this month IAPMO and AWWA published "Responding to Stagnation in Buildings with Reduced or No Water Use," a guide providing building managers a decision-making framework to design responses to building water stagnation caused by underuse during the pandemic.