Californians’ Daily Showers will save 38 Billion Gallons of Water

California Energy Commission Adopts New High-Efficiency Standards for Showerheads, Going Beyond National WaterSense Program

SAN FRANCISCO (August 12, 2015) – The California Energy Commission (CEC) today voted unanimous to approve new standards for showerheads that will go beyond the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense performance criteria.

The two-tier implementation of new standards will require that all new showerheads sold in California after July 1, 2016 will comply with the WaterSense performance criteria of 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm) maximum flow. After July 1, 2018, showerheads sold in the state will have to meet 1.8 gpm, still an ample flow for a vigorous shower. As new products gradually replace existing showerheads in the years ahead, water savings are expected to reach 38 billion gallons of water per year by 2028 – approximately the amount used each year by the city of San Francisco today.

No other state has adopted standards that are more efficient than those set by EPA’s WaterSense program. At their April meeting, the Commission set similar standards for toilets, urinals and faucets, which will save California billions of gallons of water. 

Approximately 30 percent of showerheads currently on the market already meet WaterSense performance criteria, and there are nearly 600 high-efficiency showerhead products that are 1.8 gpm or better.

Following is a statement by Tracy Quinn, water policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Setting water-smart efficiency standards for showerheads is one more common sense solution to make Californians better stewards of our precious drinking water supplies. The Commission’s decision today is an important step in helping our state save 38 billion gallons of water.

“Even if we weren’t in the midst of the worst drought California has seen in more than 1,000 years, these standards would still make sense –the technology is already available and these new high-efficiency models have the same feel as old-style showerheads – but without the water waste. So why wouldn’t we do all we can with what’s available to us to ensure our state is more drought-resilient in years to come?”


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