Politics has certainly been front-and-center in the news for the past couple of months.  Whether it’s in Washington DC, or here in my state of Wisconsin, it seems like finding common ground on anything has been nearly impossible.

One of the issues being debated in Washington is funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.  EPA plays a central role in the enforcement of environmental laws that safeguard our air, water, and land for future generations.  In 2007, as part of its mission to protect water resources, EPA created WaterSense, a product-labeling program that helps consumers identify products that use less water, but still perform great.  Kohler Co. has been a partner in the WaterSense program right from the start, and we continue to be strong supporters of it.

But like many other federal agencies, EPA is facing serious budget cuts.  The future of programs like WaterSense is not clear.  That’s a shame, because WaterSense represents a model of how government, businesses, and environmental groups can work together collaboratively to benefit American consumers.   Participation in WaterSense is voluntary—there is no mandate to join.  As of today, nearly 3,000 companies and organizations are WaterSense partners.  The business community supports WaterSense because the program and label help consumers feel good about buying water-efficient products.

The environmental community also supports WaterSense because it helps build awareness of our need to preserve freshwater resources in the United States.  And it provides these groups with a simple message—that all of us have a role to play by making choices about which products we buy and how we use them.

And finally, the public benefits.  For example, in 2009, WaterSense products and services helped Americans reduce water use by 36 billion gallons, and reduce water and sewer bills by $267 million.  Reducing water consumption also helps defer investment in new water and waste water treatment systems, saving taxpayers even more money.

So in WaterSense, we have a pro-business, pro-environment, and pro-taxpayer program.  I urge each of you to contact your senators and representatives and ask them to support WaterSense.  It’s something we can all agree on!