Today, Joe Biden’s Department of Energy said it is looking to undo a water pressure rule created by the Trump administration after the former president complained water-restricting showerheads were forcing people to spend more time in the shower and use the same amount of water.
“So showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect,” Trump said from the White House grounds in July 2020.
Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads should not pour more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. As newer shower designs featured multiple nozzles, the Obama administration in 2013 defined the showerhead restrictions to apply to how much water comes out all of the heads in total. The Trump Department of Energy allowed 2.5 gallons of water to come out of each nozzle, granting people with multiple nozzle heads the ability to drench themselves.
The change announced today would return to the Obama restriction, in which 2.5 gallons per minute total could come out of a shower regardless of the number of nozzles.
“As many parts of America experience historic droughts, this commonsense proposal means consumers can purchase showerheads that conserve water and save them money on their utility bills,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said.
“People aren’t clamoring for these things, and the department is right to close the loophole,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “They should get this one finished and move quickly on setting standards for products that are overdue for updates.”
Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), said, “It’s a good and necessary step. At a time when a good portion of the country is experiencing serious drought exacerbated by climate change, there’s no place for showerheads that use needless amounts of water.”
A new Drought Monitor report released this week showed a large part of the United States experiencing “Exceptional” drought conditions, a problem that continues to grow week over week.