Posted: April 23, 2014
With California facing its worst drought in a century, state officials have fast-tracked first-in-the-nation water efficiency standards for new toilets, urinals and faucets, an action expected to save about 8.2 billion gallons of water the first year while cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
The draft standards, released late last week, would prohibit the sale of appliances in California that do not meet proposed standards, which are expected to go into effect in 2016.
The standards would require that toilets use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush instead of the current limit of 1.6 gallons per flush.
They would limit urinals to a half a gallon of water per flush, half of what is currently allowed.
Lavatory faucets would have a maximum water use level of 1.5 gallons per minute under the proposed standards, down from the current limit of 2.2 gallons per minute.
California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller hopes that California’s standards will serve as a model for other parched states and even the federal government as policymakers grapple with how to conserve water as climate change puts a dent in supplies.