EPA WaterSense Authorization Moves Forward in the Senate

2018-05-23

congressLegislation that would for the first time provide congressional authorization of WaterSense®, the EPA’s voluntary labeling program to identify products that conserve water, is moving toward approval in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved a major water resources measure including provisions sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD, and others to authorize WaterSense, the EPA’s voluntary labeling program that identifies products that conserve water. WaterSense has been operated by EPA for over 10 years using the EPA administrator’s discretionary funding authority. 

AWE was instrumental in the creation of WaterSense and has been a primary supporter of the program since its inception. We continue to work strenuously on efforts to ensure that this important public-private partnership continues.

While WaterSense has been supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the White House, the current administration proposed shutting down the program as part of major spending cuts at EPA. That plan was displaced temporarily, however, by congressional directives contained in the massive government spending bill approved in March. But those instruction for EPA to continue WaterSense expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2018. So congressional authorization or further directives for EPA to continue WaterSense are vital to the future of this important program.

The bill approved by the Senate committee, S 2800 – America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 – also extends favorable financing under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) to drinking water and clean water state revolving funds. The bill now goes to the full Senate for expected passage. But a comparable water resources measure under consideration by a House Committee does not include WaterSense authorization. 

We are following this situation closely and will keep you posted.

Click here for more information on the WaterSense program.

Click here for an infographic outlining the benefits of the WaterSense program.

Click here to download social media messages in support of WaterSense.

Click here to download the WaterSense Fact Sheet.

Click here to view a letter of support that AWE sent to Administrator Pruitt in March, 2018.