In an effort to expand the water efficiency market, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its first set of specifications to certify professionals in this field.
Under the agency's WaterSense program, the specifications set technical requirements for certifying landscape irrigation professionals. Certification programs that meet the EPA's requirements will earn the WaterSense label.
"Wasting water through poor irrigation design is like watching your dollars go down the drain," said EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "WaterSense irrigation provides smart water solutions that are a win-win for our wallets, and our environment. WaterSense just makes sense."
The programs will test for the ability to design, install, maintain and audit water-efficient landscape irrigation systems, including:
- Tailoring systems to the surrounding landscape and local climate conditions;
- Selecting equipment, laying out irrigation systems, and setting up proper scheduling; and
- Auditing systems that deliver water unequally or inefficiently and recognizing how to improve performance.
The specifications announced will allow professionals to become WaterSense partners. They also may use the WaterSense logo to promote their water-efficient landscape and irrigation services to consumers.
WaterSense is a voluntary public-private partnership that identifies and promotes high-performance products and programs that help preserve the nation's water supply. The WaterSense program seeks to generate support for: consumer use of water-efficient products such as water-saving faucets; certification activities for water industry professionals; and innovation in water-efficient product manufacturing.
EPA is inviting organizations that share a commitment to water efficiency to become WaterSense partners. Partnership is open to organizations that certify irrigation professionals and those interested in promoting the WaterSense program, such as water utilities and trade associations. In the future, a broad spectrum of water-efficient products will carry the WaterSense label, from lawn irrigation products to bathroom faucets. The companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell these products will also soon be eligible for partnership.