WaterSense and Water Efficient Products
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices. The program helps consumers identify water-efficient products and programs. The WaterSense label indicates that these products and programs meet water efficiency and performance criteria.
The Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sets the purchasing specifications for water-efficient product categories commonly purchased by federal agencies. Products meeting these performance requirements fulfill FEMP-designated product requirements. However, FEMP does not endorse specific products.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) [PDF – 821K] requires agencies to identify all "covered facilities" that constitute at least 75 percent of the agency's facility energy and water use. A covered facility may be defined as "a group of facilities at a single location or multiple locations managed as an integrated operation." An energy manager must be designated for each of these covered facilities. Each facility's energy manager is responsible for:
- Completing comprehensive energy and water evaluations of 25 percent of covered facilities each year, so that an evaluation of each such facility is completed at least once every four years;
- Implementing identified energy and water efficiency measures;
- Following up on implemented measures, including fully commissioning equipment, putting in place operations and maintenance plans, and measuring and verifying energy and water savings.
Federal Acquisition Regulation part 23.202 sets federal policy to acquire supplies and services that promote water efficiency and help foster markets for emerging technologies. This policy extends to all acquisitions, including those below the simplified acquisition threshold.
Executive Orders (EOs): EO 13514 [PDF - 113K] requires federal agencies to:
- Ensure that 95 percent of new contract actions, including task and delivery orders for products and services are water-efficient, where such products and services meet agency performance requirements; and
- Improve water use efficiency and management by reducing potable water consumption intensity by 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2020, or 26 percent by the end of fiscal year 2020, relative to a baseline of the agency's water consumption in fiscal year 2007. This is to be accomplished by implementing water management strategies including water-efficient and low-flow fixtures and efficient cooling towers.
EO 13423 requires federal agencies to:
- Reduce water consumption intensity (gallons per square foot) 2 percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2015, or 16 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015 from a 2007 baseline. This requirement is to be achieved incrementally by fiscal year beginning in 2008;
- Conduct annual water audits of at least 10 percent of facility square footage and to conduct audits at least every 10 years; and
- Purchase water efficient products and services, including WaterSense labeled products, and use contractors who are certified through a WaterSense labeled program where applicable.
The EPA’s WaterSense website lists qualifying water-efficient products. Be sure to purchase products marked with the WaterSense label when they are available. WaterSense currently covers the following product categories:
- Bathroom Sink Faucets
- Flushing Urinals
- High-Efficiency Toilets
- Landscape Irrigation Services
- New Homes
- Pre-rinse Spray Valves
- Weather or Sensor-based Irrigation Control Techniques
FEMP lists specifications for water-saving products in the upper 25 percent of their class. Visit the FEMP website to view the specifications and guide in the selection to water-efficient products.