Sen. Mark Udal, D-El Dorado, is carrying the banner for a tax credit for water-efficient items.
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, sponsored the bill in the House of Representatives.
The Udall-Coffman Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment Act of 2009, the acronym is “water,” would create a 30 percent tax credit on the purchase of products that have earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label.
The tax credit has a $1,500 cap.
“That’s still an incentive for us as consumers,” Udall said.
Similar to the Energy Star program, the WaterSense label is reserved for products and services that use water at least 20 percent more efficiently than comparable ones.
It includes several brands of faucets, toilets, shower heads and irrigation services.
Udall called the tax credit a bonus to the wallet as well as the environment.
“The cheapest gallon of water, like the cheapest barrel of oil, is the one you do not use,” Udall said. “It’s an interesting nexus of energy and water use. If you conserve water, you conserve the energy to heat it, supply it and treat it.”
The EPA suggests that if 1 percent of homes used WaterSense parts, the electricity saved in water treatment, pumping and heating would supply 43,000 homes.
The WATER Act has been endorsed by industry groups, water authorities, and local leaders in Colorado — including the mayors of Denver, Centennial, and Greenwood Village; the Douglas and Arapahoe County Commissioners; the Town of Castle Rock; the South Metro Water Supply Authority; the Douglas County Water Authority; and the Southeast Business Partnership.