The U.S. Department of Energy issued two final rules focused on water efficiency standards.
The U.S. Department of Energy finalized two new rules to roll back water efficiency standards on appliances like showerheads.
The new rules loosen water regulations on showerheads and for washers and dryers, reported NPR.
According to the Department of Energy, the first rule ensures that Americans can have access to high-performance, time-saving clothes washers and dryers and the second rule ensures access to showerheads that can provide enough water for quality showers.
"Today’s final rulemakings allow consumers to choose products that can make their lives easier, more comfortable, and save them time," said Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes in the Department of Energy statement. "That time and effort saved can be better spent on the more important things in life."
The new rule allows every individual nozzle on a showerhead to use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. According to the department, there are concerns that cycle times for washers and dryers could become very long in the future.
Additionally, the final rule on washers and dryers allows manufacturers to offer new products that meet consumer demand for clothes washers and dryers that have shorter cycle times. The rule establishes separate product classes for residential clothes washers and clothes dryers with cycle times of less than 30 minutes, reported the Department of Energy.
In October, the Department of Energy announced it had finalized a rule allowing for a new class of dishwashers with cycle times of an hour or less and different energy and water conservation standards, reported CNN.
"It is a big deal because potentially you have showerheads that are using five, seven and a half gallons a minute, and that's a lot of water," said Andrew deLaski, the executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a coalition of environmental consumer groups.