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CDC Joins EPA in Partnership to Protect Nation's Water Supply

Published: July 1, 2008

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding and EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding signs the first federal WaterSense partnership with EPA. (Courtesy EPA, Region 4)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently became the first federal agency to join the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense campaign to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.

CDC Director, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, and EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles, signed the agreement June 9, 2008 during the American Water Works Association Annual conference in Atlanta.

"CDC is unwavering in its commitment to a green and sustainable environment and water conservation is an important component of such an environment," said Gerberding. "By signing this agreement, CDC is saying we want to lead the way for others to follow and that's what we're going to continue to do."

CDC has been a federal leader in water conversation for sometime, said Gerberding. And this agreement will result in the agency taking its commitment to water conservation to the next level.

"CDC is definitely committed to water conservation," said Liz York, CDC's Acting Chief Sustainability Officer. "We utilize water conserving fixtures and technologies in our new buildings and have upgraded many of our existing fixtures, as well. The WaterSense partnership exemplifies and strengthens our commitment and allows us to continue to promote the importance of clean, reliable water as a part of our health mission."

The EPA launched the WaterSense Program in 2006 to stimulate more efficient use of water in homes and now, federal facilities. This voluntary partnership promotes water efficiency and primes market demand for water-efficient products and services that reduce stress on water systems and the environment. WaterSense takes its cue from the successful ENERGY STAR program which promotes energy-efficient products.

The WaterSense Program responds to a 2003 U.S. Government Accountability Office survey underscoring the need to develop a national ethic of water efficiency. The survey reported that 36 states anticipate local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013, even without drought conditions. Managing the nation's water supply is a rising concern for communities across the country.

As an official WaterSense promotional partner, CDC joins a team of 270 state and local government agencies, utilities and nonprofit organizations across the country that are promoting the concept of water efficiency, water saving practices and WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense labeled products, including high-efficiency toilets and faucets, are at least 20 percent more efficient than their counterparts. WaterSense is also labeling certification programs for irrigation professionals, helping to encourage water efficiency in the landscaping business.

Managing water is a growing concern in the United States. Communities across the country are starting to face challenges regarding water supply and water infrastructure which has great potential to affect Public Health.

Page last reviewed: July 1, 2008
Page last updated: July 1, 2008
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Content owner: National Center for Health Marketing
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