Plumbing leadership panel discusses Future of Water; helps kick off Water Week

Washington, D.C. – The Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition hosted the Future of Water Congressional Briefing, an event that helped mark the beginning of Water Week 2015, which seeks to inform and inspire local, state and national leaders and communicate the considerable value the water sector brings to environmental protection, economic development and job creation.

On the panel were Pete DeMarco, senior vice president of Advocacy and Research for The IAPMO Group; Mary Ann Dickinson, president and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency; Barbara Higgens, CEO of Plumbing Manufacturers International; Gerry Kennedy, executive vice president of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association; and Sara Yerkes, senior vice president of Government Relations for the International Code Council.

“Along with our partners on the Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition, IAPMO looks forward to continuing our efforts to meet the global challenges of drought, water scarcity, and declining water quality through the development of safe and effective plumbing and mechanical code provisions,” DeMarco said.

The Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition was created to provide a forum for the exchange of information through the leadership of U.S.-based plumbing industry associations representing manufacturers, plumbing systems, certification bodies, and stakeholders having an influence on policy. The goal is to seek common ground on plumbing industry issues and then to address and promote the issues as a unified coalition.

“Water-efficient plumbing has already conserved more than 18 trillion gallons nationally, saving municipalities millions of dollars in the delivery of water and wastewater services to our nation's water users,” said Dickinson, of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. “With drought gripping more than 30 percent of the United States, federal leadership on water efficiency is needed now more than ever.”

"There's no need to guess what a future without water will look like,” PMI’s Higgens said. “The future is now in California. PMI and its members stand ready to assist with WaterSense products, which are certified to be both water efficient and effective. Homeowners can start saving water today by replacing inefficient legacy products with WaterSense-certified ones. Consumers won't settle with 25-year old cell-phone technology. Why, especially with the drought upon us, would anyone be content with 25-year-old plumbing technology? Industry estimates indicate that less than 5 percent of the market has made the switch to WaterSense. The products are ready and waiting on the shelf. Our message: replace those old products and save water now!"

“Increased water efficiency is an important aspect of sustainability, and the adoption and enforcement of relevant codes and standards should be an effective part of any water efficiency program,” said Yerkes, of ICC. “Water and wastewater costs have been rising faster than electricity costs since 2001, so saving water also makes economic sense. ICC is also proud to be a partner in the U.S. EPA WaterSense Program. WaterSense makes it easy to save water while still delivering plumbing products that perform.”

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