WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products. It was launched in June 2006.
WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA with the goal of protecting the future of the U.S. water supply. By promoting and enhancing the market for water efficient products and services, WaterSense makes every drop count by leveraging relationships with key utility, manufacturer and retail partners across the U.S.
WaterSense is not a regulatory program, but rather a voluntary program. EPA develops specifications for water efficient products through a public process. If a manufacturer makes a product that meets those specifications, the product is eligible for third-party testing to ensure the stated efficiency and performance criteria have been met. If the product passes the test, the manufacturer is rewarded with the right to put the WaterSense label on that product.
WaterSense makes it easy for consumers to differentiate among products that use less water and reinforces that saving water is easy and often does not require a major lifestyle change.
Toilets, bathroom sink faucets (and accessories), flushing urinals, single family new homes, showerheads and irrigation professionals who have undergone training by WaterSense-labeled certification programs are all products/services that are readily available to consumers.
Products that seek the WaterSense label must:
- Achieve national water savings
- Provide measurable results
- Perform as well as or better than similar products in the same category
- Be water-efficient, using at least 20 percent less water than EPA's fixture-specific water use baseline.
To help get products on shelves and spread the word about WaterSense, EPA recruits partners in several different categories including:
- Utilities, communities, state and local governments
- Retailers and distributors
- Organizations that provide qualified certification programs
- Certified professionals
- Non-profit organizations and trade associations.
Partner responsibilities include:
- Promoting WaterSense as well as water efficiency
- Adhering to WaterSense partner logo guidelines
- Providing annual data
- Granting EPA rights to use partner name on the Agency website or alongside other program promotional efforts.
WaterSense also utilizes promotional partners who endorse and publicize the program among their constituents. Promotional partners include utilities, state and local governments, trade associations, and other non-governmental organizations. Landscape irrigation professionals who are certified by WaterSense-labeled certification programs can also become partners.
EPA’s first specification, released in January 2007, was written for WaterSense-labeled toilets. Final specifications have also been written for bathroom sink faucets, flushing urinals, new single family homes, showerheads and certification programs for irrigation professionals.
The Agency issued revised draft specifications for landscape irrigation controllers in January 2011.
In 2008, the EPA initiated its WaterSense Partners of the Year award, designed to recognize organizations and individuals who did the most in the previous year to promote water efficiency and saving water. The awards have four categories: promotional partner of the year; manufacturer partner of the year; retailer and distributor partner of the year; and, irrigation partner of the year. In 2010, the awards were expanded to include Excellence Awards, which recognize additional organizations and individuals whose WaterSense support stood out in one or more of the evaluation categories. In 2013, WaterSense added an additional category to recognize partners for exemplary efforts with WaterSense initiatives called the Sustained Excellence Awards.
|2013||Sustained Excellence Award||Kohler Co.|
|2013||Sustained Excellence Award||Lowe's Companies, Inc.|
|2013||Promotional Partner of the Year||Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department|
|2013||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Delta Faucet Company|
|2013||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Niagara Conservation|
|2013||Retailer Partner of the Year||The Home Depot|
|2013||Builder Partner of the Year||KB Home|
|2013||Professional Certifying Organization Partner of the Year||the Irrigation Association|
|2013||Irrigation Partner of the Year||John Taylor|
|2013||Excellence Award for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products||City of Boulder Public Works/Utilities, Colorado|
|2013||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado|
|2013||Excellence Award for Outreach and Education||Public Service Commission of Wisconsin|
|2013||Excellence Award for Outreach and Education||Town of Sharon, Massachusetts|
|2013||Excellence Award for Promotion||Sonoma–Marin Water Saving Partnership, California|
|2013||Excellence Award for Construction of Affordable WaterSense Labeled New Homes||Habitat For Humanity of Metro Denver, Colorado|
|2012||Promotional Partner of the Year||Colorado Springs Utilities|
|2012||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||American Standard Brands|
|2012||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Kohler Co.|
|2012||Retail/Distributor Partner of the Year||Lowe's Companies, Inc.|
|2012||Builder Partner of the Year||KB Home|
|2012||Excellence Award for Fix a Leak Week Activities||Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA)|
|2012||Excellence Award for Fix a Leak Week Activities||New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE)|
|2012||Excellence Award for Outreach and Education||American Water|
|2012||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE)|
|2012||Excellence Award for Employee Education||The Home Depot|
|2011||Promotional Partner of the Year||Cobb County Water System|
|2011||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Delta Faucet Company|
|2011||Retail/Distributor Partner of the Year||The Home Depot|
|2011||Irrigation Partner of the Year||Christopher Curry|
|2011||Builder Partner of the Year||KB Home|
|2011||Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year||Energy Inspectors Corporation|
|2011||Excellence Award for WaterSense Labeled Product Promotions||American Water|
|2011||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Public Service Commission of Wisconsin|
|2011||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Lowe's Companies, Inc.|
|2011||Excellence Award for Education and Outreach||City of Dallas Water Utilities|
|2011||Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events||Kohler Co.|
|2011||Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events||Moen Incorporated|
|2011||Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events||Niagara Conservation|
|2010||Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year||Lowe's Companies, Inc.|
|2010||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Moen Incorporated|
|2010||Promotional Partner of the Year||Cascade Water Alliance|
|2010||Irrigation Partner of the Year||Judy Benson|
|2010||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority|
|2010||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Drains Plus, Inc.|
|2010||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Kohler Co.|
|2010||Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration||Robert Dobson|
|2010||Excellence Award for Labeled Products in the Marketplace||Caroma|
|2010||Excellence Award for Demonstrated Results||Bryan Condray|
|2009||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Kohler Co.|
|2009||Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year||Lowe's Companies, Inc.|
|2009||Promotional Partner of the Year||Cobb County Water System|
|2009||Irrigation Partner of the Year||Brian Vinchesi|
|2008||Promotional Partner of the Year||The Saving Water Partnership|
|2008||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Kohler Co.|
|2008||Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year||Ferguson|
|2008||Irrigation Partner of the Year||Timothy Malooly|
|2008||Manufacturer Partner of the Year||Kohler Co.|
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, DC. "WaterSense Timeline." Revised 2011-04-14.
- EPA. "WaterSense: Product Certification and Labeling." Revised 2011-04-14.
- EPA. "The WaterSense Label." Revised 2011-04-11.
- EPA. "WasterSense Partners." Revised 2011-04-14.
- EPA (2011). "Revised Draft Specification for Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers."
- EPA (2011). "Pre-Rinse Spray Valves."
- EPA (2011). "Cation Exchange Water Softeners."
- "Doing More with Less Water - First WaterSense Partners of the Year".
- "EPA Announces WaterSense Partners of the Year".
- WaterSense at the EPA