Sept. 17 2018 09:02 AM

Bill would permanently authorize the EPA’s WaterSense program.

The House of Representatives has passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which includes a provision to permanently authorize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program, according to a press release from the office of Congressman Jerry McNerney, D-CA, the bill’s author. Now the bill goes on to the Senate.

The WaterSense program makes it easy to find products that conserve water by clearly labeling them as water efficient. Similar to the EnergyStar program for electrical appliances, it sets voluntary technical standards for water appliances such as toilets, showerheads, and landscape irrigation systems.

To qualify, these products must be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. Upgrading to WaterSense-labeled products saves billions of gallons of water and reduces the amount of energy used each year.

“I’m pleased the practical water-saving legislation that I introduced was included in this critical water infrastructure bill,” McNerney says. “The WaterSense program is a common-sense public-private partnership that benefits both consumers and small businesses. This is a vital resource that helps Americans identify water-efficient products so they can make informed choices and save money.”

The bipartisan bill would also improve drinking water quality and provide funding for state and local governments to make upgrades to drinking water infrastructure. The bill also reauthorizes the Safe Drinking Water Act for the first time in 20 years.

McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties.