Oct. 26 2018 02:00 PM

Legislation includes WaterSense program authorization.

America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 was signed by President Donald Trump into law on Oct. 23. As previously reported in Irrigation & Green Industry, the bipartisan measure passed the Senate earlier this month with a nearly unanimous vote of 99-1.

Included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 is the congressional authorization of the WaterSense program, which has saved American consumers a cumulative 2.7 trillion gallons of water and more than $63.8 billion on their water and energy bills since 2006, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

The law changes WaterSense from its status as a "discretionary" program at the EPA to federal legal status, according to a press release from the AZ Water Association. It now qualifies for annual appropriations rather than relying on the EPA administrator’s discretionary funds each year.

In addition to authorizing the WaterSense program, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 expands water storage capabilities and authorizes federal funding for water infrastructure projects, which leverages billions in water infrastructure spending.

The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, announced it was pleased with the passing of the bill.

“We are excited to see the WaterSense program now authorized by Congress,” says IA Government and Public Affairs Director John Farner. “The IA’s membership, along with our coalition partners, should be commended, as years of advocacy efforts have culminated in legislation that is signed by the president. We now look forward to working with elected officials to ensure WaterSense remains a strong, market-enhancement program for water-efficient technologies and services.”

He adds, “The IA thanks congressional leadership for spearheading this strong bipartisan legislation focused on our nation’s water resources. We look forward to these programs being implemented and creating real results for our nation’s aging water infrastructure.”