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Specification Development Process

EPA considers both technical and market factors when identifying product categories that are good candidates for the WaterSense product specification and labeling process. These evaluation factors include:

  • Potential for significant water savings on a national level.
  • Equal or superior product performance compared to conventional models.
  • State of technology development—product categories that rely on a single, proprietary technology will not be eligible for the label.
  • Ability to measure and verify water savings and performance.
  • Cost-effectiveness.

In addition, EPA needs data to demonstrate that product categories meet the criteria above. If you are a manufacturer or stakeholder group who would like WaterSense to develop a specification for a particular product category, please review the WaterSense Data Needs page to see what data are needed for specification development.

In developing a specification, EPA undertakes the following steps:

  • Conducts technical analysis and market research to evaluate water savings potential and environmental and economic impacts.
  • Announces intention to develop specification for a product to stakeholders, providing for input at the outset of the process.
  • Assesses existing test methods and determine the type of testing necessary for label consideration.
  • Releases draft product specifications for review and solicit input and comments from stakeholders and the general public. Stakeholder meetings and outreach are an integral part of this process.
  • Posts comments on the WaterSense Web site and revise the specification as necessary.
  • Announces final product specification.
  • Reviews existing specifications periodically to assess whether or not to update them.
  • Monitors the market to determine whether or not to develop specifications in new product areas.

For an overview of current and proposed standards and voluntary specifications, please see the National Efficiency Standards and Specifications for Water-Using Appliances and Equipment (PDF) (10 pg, 212K, About PDF)Exit EPA Disclaimer table.

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