The American Supply Association noted the Omnibus Bill passed by Congress provides a significant victory for ASA and other industry associations that have been working together to ensure funding is available for the EPA WaterSense program and for improvements in water infrastructure.
Jim Kendzel, ASA vice president of advocacy, stated: “The EPA WaterSense program is a voluntary testing and listing program that provides consumers the assurance that water-efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances meet WaterSense standards. ASA is proud to be a WaterSense partner.”
The EPA WaterSense program, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping save water. The WaterSense label makes it simple to find water-efficient products, new homes and programs that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20% less water, save energy and perform as well as or better than regular models. WaterSense partners with manufacturers, retailers and distributors, home builders, irrigation professionals and utilities to bring WaterSense to communities. ASA noted its partnerships encourage innovation in manufacturing and support sustainable jobs for American workers.
The Omnibus Bill contains the following funding for water infrastructure:
• 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
• 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.
Kendzel noted: “The EPA and other federal agencies anticipate the projected shortfall in clean water infrastructure investment will approach $500 billion over the next two decades. The Omnibus Bill funding is great but we have a long way to go to achieve the $500 billion needed over the next 10 years. ASA is committed to continue to be a leader in the industry for fighting for sufficient funding to meet water infrastructure needs.