WASHINGTON — Plumbing Manufacturers International expressed its appreciation to Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) for introducing the “Clean, Safe, Reliable Water Infrastructure Act” (S. 1137) to bring affordable relief to America’s crumbling water infrastructure systems, many of which have operated for 75 to 100 years, well exceeding their expected lifespan.

The bipartisan legislation not only expands the availability of resources for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects; the bill also includes formal authorization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, a voluntary, public-private partnership that encourages voluntary reduction of water consumption by consumers and businesses.

“WaterSense is an example of an effective collaboration between industry and the government in determining voluntary, water-efficient performance measures that can be used by consumers, industry, and state and local governments,” said Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO/executive director.  “WaterSense is not duplicated by any other organization, private or public.”

Higgens noted that authorization of this program will send a clear signal about the federal government’s willingness to support programs relating to water sustainability. WaterSense products and certified services are at least 20 percent more water efficient than products only meeting federal standards in the same category. These more-efficient products can help save billions of gallons of water each year.

Boozman said he and Cardin teamed up once again in a bipartisan manner to address the growing needs of our communities.

“Improving our nation’s wastewater systems and ensuring that Americans have access to clean water is something we can all get behind, especially when it is accomplished in a manner that promotes openness, competition and efficiency,” he stated.

Cardin noted: “We also want to make sure that we are getting more bang for the buck, and that means using water more efficiently. It’s why our bill authorizes support for the WaterSense partnership that encourages voluntary reduction of water consumption by consumers and businesses, delivering more than $33 billion to consumers in water and energy bill savings.”

PMI hopes to work with Boozman and Cardin on bill language that can advance in both chambers and be signed into law to formally authorize the WaterSense program.