Drought and Water Shortages and Your Plumbing

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Water managers in 40 of 50 states expect water shortages within the next 10 years. California is the best-known example of a state dealing with severe drought conditions and water shortages. To help save water in response to current and projected shortages, Plumbing governing bodies encourages the purchase and installation of WaterSense toilets, showerheads and faucets.

Governor Jerry Brown’s April 1 executive order, as the need for water savings in California has never been greater due to severe drought conditions. The compliance deadline of January 2016 is unrealistic in view of the time required for product development, testing and certification, and meeting the deadline will be difficult, if not impossible. In addition, consistent with the analysis submitted by acknowledged scientists,  expressed concerns that the 1.2 maximum gpm flow rate for residential lavatory faucets may introduce the risk of waterborne pathogens growing in plumbing systems. Distribution challenges must also be considered.

We advocates the use of current WaterSense-labeled, water-efficient plumbing products meeting Environmental Protection Agency criteria. Using these products can save up to 360 million gallons of water per day in California.

The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board will work to fulfill Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order to develop a statewide rebate program providing monetary incentives for the purchase of these products, which include toilets, faucets and showerheads bearing the WaterSense label of endorsement.

WaterSense products use 20 percent less water than federal requirements

To earn the WaterSense label, plumbing products are independently tested and certified as using at least 20 percent less water than federal requirements while meeting performance standards. Available at a wide variety of price points and in a broad range of styles, these water-efficient products are now required by the California Building Code in new construction and renovations.

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