Very few federal laws are passed solely on the merits of the legislation. It often takes months or even years of hard work and coordinated efforts on the part of numerous organizations that come together under the banner of a coalition formed for the purpose of passing or defeating legislation.

On April 2 of this year, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Representative Mike Coffman of Colorado joined with four other congressmen to introduce the Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment Act of 2009 (known as W.A.T.E.R.). The W.A.T.E.R. Act would provide a tax credit for consumers who purchase water-conserving EPA WaterSense products. “HR1908 is an American Supply Association-backed bill that we believe will serve two goals,” shared Mike Adelizzi, ASA’s executive vice president. “First, the overwhelming goal of the legislation is to conserve our nation’s vital fresh water resources, and with an estimated 100 million toilets with a greater than 3.0 gallon flush in use today, converting those to a 1.28 gallon flush WaterSense product will conserve hundreds of millions of gallons of water each year. A second benefit of the legislation will provide a stimulus of our industry products.”

To help pass HR1908, ASA formed the W.A.T.E.R. Coalition and held its first meeting in Washington, D.C., on June 15. The coalition developed a strategy to pass this important legislation by:
    1. Educating Congress and the administration on the benefits and need for this legislation.
    2. Target key senators and representatives to cosponsor the legislation.
    3. Identify the right vehicle to pass the legislation.

Coalition members are already hard at work reaching out to members of Congress and the administration to brief them on the benefits of the W.A.T.E.R. Act.  In fact, a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.

To date, representatives from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors, the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, BOMA, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the National Multi-Housing Council, American Rivers Association, Kohler Co., American Standard and Lowe’s have all joined ASA’s effort to pass this legislation.

“Patterned after the Energy Star Tax Credit, the W.A.T.E.R. Act will provide much the same benefits and stimulus. It is the goal of the coalition to gain passage this year.” Concluded Adelizzi.

For more information on the W.A.T.E.R Act and the Coalition, please visit www.asa.net or contact Mike Adelizzi at madelizzi@asa.net.

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