The Biden administration is reversing the Trump-era showerhead rule that had garnered a lot of attention last year. Former US President Donald Trump had eased the showerhead rules during his administration as he felt that he was not getting enough water to keep his hair "perfect".
Federal Law Enacted in 1992
The Energy Department announced on Friday announced that it will drop the Trump-era rule that boosted water flow through showerheads. In 1992, the US had set a rule -- a water limit for shower fixtures to 2.5 gallon per minute. The idea was to save water.
Rule-change Reverts to the Obama-era Standard
In 2013, President Obama's administration put in place water conservation standards. As newer shower fixtures came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration defined the showerhead restrictions to apply to what comes out in total. So if there are four nozzles, no more than 2.5 gallons should come out between all four, reported the Associated Press.
A proposed rule change, set to be published in the Federal Register next week, reverts to the Obama-era standard. The public will have 60 days to comment before a final rule is developed.
The change will ensure that consumers continue to save money while reducing water use and paying lower energy bills, the Energy Department said. Officials estimated that the Obama-era rule saved households about $38 a year, and the Energy Department expects similar savings by reverting to the 2013 standard.
Trump's Obsession with the Perfect Hair Compelled Him to Ease Showerhead Rules
After complaining repeatedly that bathroom fixtures do not work according to his liking, Trump believed water does not come fast enough from fixtures. He said that the showers aren't flowing enough for his taste or his hair. This compelled his administration to propose rule changes. The Trump-era rule, finalized in December, allows each nozzle to spray as much as 2.5 gallons, not just the overall showerhead.
"What do you do?" he asked at a White House event last August. "Do you just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair â I don't know about you â but it has to be perfect."
Various consumer and conservation groups criticized Trump's decision by highlighting the environmental concerns around droughts. Many groups called this law as silly, unnecessary and wasteful. Energy advocates also said that the new change would contribute to unnecessary expenses to household water, sewer, and energy costs.
A Step towards Water Conservation?
According to a report published in USA Today, through 2020, the original standard saved consumers $111.1 billion in energy and water bills and 4.3 trillion gallons of water â equating to 107.5 billion baths of water and 63% of the water in Lake Champlain, the Energy Department said.
Some have welcomed this decision of Biden administration saying that the rule-change could be significant for energy and water conservation while few have claimed that the fixture restrictions have been outdated as builders have started using multiple showerheads to get that desired "bathing in a waterfall" effect.