WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) strongly supports legislation in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that aims to help communities nationwide better prepare for the future by providing new incentives and investments to help residents, businesses and local water agencies conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies.
Introduced in the Senate (S. 2771) by Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and in the House (H.R. 5363) by Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), “W21: Water in the 21st Century” would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure also would seek to help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought. ”Anyone who knows California knows that we have forever fought about water, and it’s time to change the story,” Sen. Boxer said. “We’re doing just that with ‘W21: Water in the 21st Century,’ which will help us prepare for the future by conserving, recycling and better managing our precious water supplies.”
Napolitano said she was proud to sponsor the bill in the House of Representatives, and appreciates support from stakeholders in the plumbing industry for legislation that will help develop a reliable water supply for the 21st century. ”The Water in the 21st Century Act will help our communities address ongoing drought cycles by providing funds and support to our local water agencies and residents for water use efficiency, water conservation, desalination, and water recycling projects,” she said.
The legislation would strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program, which promotes water conservation in products, buildings and landscapes through information and rebates. It also would create a new grant program within the EPA for local water systems to conserve water, increase water efficiency or reuse water; modify or relocate existing water system infrastructure made or projected to be made inoperable by climate change impacts; preserve or improve water quality; and other projects.
“Sen. Boxer and Rep. Napolitano realize the positive payback of the WaterSense program,” said Dain Hansen, vice president of Government Affairs for The IAPMO Group. “This program, conceived and supported through a public-private partnership with the EPA, drives water conservation nationwide in a bipartisan, industry-wideapproach.”
IAPMO is leading an effort of major industry organizations in supporting the legislation, and urges individuals to reach out to their representatives and express support for it. Elected officials and their contact information may be accessed at www.govtrack.us/congress/members.