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IAPMO Applauds Introduction of Federal Water Efficiency, Conservation and Sustainability Legislation

Washington, D.C. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) voices its support for the Water Efficiency, Conservation, and Sustainability Act of 2023, legislation introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) that would provide resources to communities to implement water-efficiency upgrades and to establish programs to repair leaks, especially in areas experiencing severe drought. The association is especially proud that the legislation includes grants to states, tribal governments and local authorities that adopt IAPMO’s Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard for the Built Environment (WE•Stand).

Federal spending on energy efficiency and renewable energy has outpaced spending on water efficiency and reuse by approximately 80:1 since 2000, according to Sen. Padilla’s office, resulting in millions of gallons of water wasted each year that could otherwise be stored or utilized. With water shortages expected in some portion of 40 of the 50 states, the legislation would address three primary areas:

  • Water Efficiency and Conservation Grant Program: Provides funding to states, municipalities, and water systems to carry out water efficiency incentive and direct installation programs. Authorizes $50 million/year for five years.
  • Sustainable Water Loss Control Program: Provides funding and technical assistance to conduct annual water audits, implement controls to address losses, and establish water loss control programs. Authorizes $40 million/year for five years.
  • Assistance for Water Efficient Plumbing Code Adoption: Provides funding to state, local, and tribal governments to assist in the voluntary adoption and implementation of model water-efficient plumbing codes, including IAPMO’s WE•Stand. Authorizes $20 million/year for five years.

Developed and subsequently republished at the conclusion of each three-year code cycle, WE•Stand is designed to provide progressive codified requirements to optimize water use practices attributed to the built environment while maintaining protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Development of this American National Standard draws upon IAPMO’s core competencies and industry expertise. Key provisions include water efficiency and conservation requirements, IAPMO’s Water Demand Calculator™, alternate water sources for nonpotable applications such as gray and reclaimed water systems, potable and nonpotable rainwater catchment systems, non-sewered sanitation systems, leak detection and control, and vacuum drainage systems.

“Communities in America are facing unprecedented challenges to our water infrastructure,” said Christopher Lindsay, IAPMO vice president of Government Relations. “To protect water quality and availability, communities should be able to access the best resources available. IAPMO’s codes and standards are created with public health and community resiliency in mind. They represent the best practices from industry, while at the same time helping to lower the upfront costs and ongoing operating costs of buildings.”

“As the Western United States and much of the Southeast continue to experience significant droughts, investing in resilient water supplies is an increasingly urgent priority for communities facing rising water rates,” Sen. Padilla said. “Water efficiency and conservation measures are fast and cost-effective solutions to ensure clean drinking water, to lower water bills, and to bolster a drought-resilient water supply. We must work to modernize our water infrastructure and make it more efficient — we all have a stake in this fight.”

“The West has been facing historic droughts, and we must invest in resilient water supplies in order to improve water use efficiency and protect access to clean drinking water as we continue to face the worsening impacts of climate change,” Rep. Levin said. “By increasing efficiency and reducing water loss, we can bolster supply and save consumers money. I am grateful to Senator Padilla for his partnership on this critical legislation that builds on ongoing state and local efforts to upgrade aging infrastructure and build a more resilient water system across the West.”


IAPMO develops and publishes the Uniform Plumbing Code®,the most widely recognized code of practice used by the plumbing industry worldwide; Uniform Mechanical Code®; Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code®; and Uniform Solar Energy, Hydronics and Geothermal Code — the only plumbing, mechanical, solar energy and swimming pool codes designated by ANSI as American National Standards — and the Water Efficiency Standard (WE-Stand)™. IAPMO works with government, contractors, labor force, and manufacturers to produce product standards, technical manuals, personnel certification/educational programs and additional resources in order to meet the ever-evolving demands of the industry in protecting public health and safety.

Last modified: August 17, 2023