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TitleWater infrastructure : water-efficient plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption and wastewater flows
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsUS General Accounting Office -Washington, DC, US. Resources, Community and Economic Development Division
Pagination40 p. : fig., tab.
Date Published2000-08-01
PublisherUS General Accounting Office
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
Keywordseconomic aspects, infrastructure, legislation, regulatory authorities, sdipol, standards, usa, water consumption, water use

Water-efficient plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads, first became generally available to American consumers in the late1980s. Subsequently, under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Congress established uniform national standards for the manufacture of these fixtures to promote conservation by residential and commercial water users. The act also pre-empted state and local authorities from setting different standards. Proposed legislation filed in 1999 would have repealed the national standards and eliminated the act’s pre-emptive language. Concerned about the potential implications of the proposed legislation, the Congress asked to examine the impact of the national water efficiency standards. Specifically, they asked to provide information on the estimated impact on water consumption levels and wastewater flows and how repealing the national standards might affect projected investments in drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure, state and local governments’ ability to finance their infrastructure needs, and the likelihood of moratoria on new residential and commercial construction if the demand for water was unabated.
Ongoing national studies suggest, that National Water Efficiency Standards will continue to reduce water consumption and wastewater flows in the long term. Estimation of the impact is difficult because some use of water-efficient fixtures would likely occur even without the standards, but repealing the national standards will effect the timing and cost of infrastructure investments and it will increase the financial burden on local communities. National studies show potential savings as a result of deferring or avoiding some infrastructure investments.

NotesBibliography: p. 38
Custom 1825, 202.5


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