EPA Shuts Down Stronger Water Standards

Water-Saving Specifications Due for an Upgrade

WASHINGTON – After an official review of the voluntary WaterSense labeling program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to  uphold the current water efficiency standards that regulate fixtures such as toilets and faucets.

The following is a statement Ed Osann, Director of National Water use Efficiency for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“It comes as no surprise that EPA has chosen not to improve any of its decade-old water efficiency criteria for plumbing products and landscape equipment.  President Trump pre-empted any meaningful review back in December with his daft comments about people flushing toilets 10 or 15 times and faucets that don’t let any water come out."

“Considering that the WaterSense labeling program is entirely voluntary, Administrator Wheeler’s claim to have blocked any revisions to avoid ‘undue burdens on the economy’ reveals a basic lack of understanding of a valuable program that the Trump Administration originally set out to eliminate.  Stronger water-saving specifications will have to wait for another day, even though they make perfect economic and environmental sense now.


WaterSense is a voluntary program managed by the Environmental Protection Agency that sets national voluntary standards for water efficient products similar to EnergyStar. Products with a WaterSense label are certified to use at least 20 percent less water while saving energy and performing as well as regular models. WaterSense partners include manufacturers, homebuilders, irrigation experts, and utility providers.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC

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