Drought Mitigation Strategies for Municipalities

Is water scarcity an issue in your region?

The good news is that today’s plumbing products use a lot less water than they did in the 1980s, even as they deliver high-levels of user satisfaction.

Finding the right balance between conserving water, user satisfaction, and safety is best achieved through effective plumbing codes informed by science and proven effective in the field.

IAPMO’s 2020 Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard (WE•Stand) is an efficient water-conserving plumbing standard for plumbing fixtures, cooling towers, gray water use, composting toilets and urine diversion systems, and rainwater catchment systems. It is the only water efficiency standard that is published as an American National Standard. Leading the way once again, the 2020 WE-Stand contains the first ever comprehensive, codified provisions for the safe use of stormwater and black water onsite treatment systems, allowing for the beneficial use of those important resources. Access the WE•Stand model code below, along with our suite of codes to bring water conservation to your municipality while keeping construction and maintenance costs low and user satisfaction high:

Plumbing codes govern these areas of public safety:

  • WE•Stand model city ordinance and legislation
  • Model city ordinance and legislation language to adopt up-to-date community water standards.
  • Model city ordinance language requiring WaterSense-labeled plumbing products.
    • The WaterSense label from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes it easy to find and select water–efficient products that are backed by independent, third-party testing and certification and meet the EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance.
  • Model city ordinance language for water-efficient landscaping
    • This model ordinance governs efficient irrigation systems, providing incentives for gray water usage, improving onsite stormwater capture, and limiting the portion of the landscape that can be planted with high water use plants.

Additional Resources:

Plumbing codes govern these areas of public safety:

  • The IAPMO Peak Water Demand Calculator updates the pipe-sizing method by improving peak water supply demand estimates that haven’t changed since the 1940s.  Oversized piping systems add unnecessary construction costs, but there’s also a potential health risk: stagnant water sitting in pipes can foster the development of pathogens such as legionella. This free downloadable spreadsheet is a great resource to estimate peak water supply demand for single- and multifamily residential dwellings.
  • The EPA provides this drought response and recovery guide for public utilities. It presents real-world examples, best practices, and lessons learned in drought response, addressing areas such as staffing response plans and funding, water supply and demand management, and communications and partnerships.
  • Learn more about the EPA WaterSense specifications and certifications.
  • Online classes on-demand to learn more about how to use the Uniform Plumbing Code to improve water efficiency in your jurisdiction.

IAPMO invests heavily in research to achieve this balance in its model plumbing codes, convening experts in the annual Emerging Water Technology Symposium. This knowledge is embedded in the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), the most progressive and innovation-friendly model plumbing codes available. Designed to be enforceable rather than interpretative–which makes life easier for both building officials and plumbing professionals–the UPC is also flexible enough to embrace new technology as it enters the built environment.