Do you remember last summer when President Donald Trump complained about the water flow from showerheads? He talked about how not enough water came out and how it impacted his showers and being able to wash his hair.  It was funny. But there was also an air of seriousness involved. The President is not the only one unhappy about low water flow. It’s been a topic of conversation among Americans since the rule was first enacted. Some agree with the rule and some don’t.

This week the Energy Department is doing something about that.  The Associated Press reports the department is relaxing a government regulation that’s been in place since 1992, restricting how much water can shoot out of a showerhead.  The level has been restricted to 2 and one-half gallons per minute. But then some manufacturers got tricky and began making units with multiple showerheads. Not to be outdone, the Obama administration came out with a rule limiting total output at 2.5 gallons per minute, regardless of how many showerheads were fitted to a unit. The new twist from the Trump administration is the two and one half gallon limit is per shower unit, with no limit on how many fitted showerheads can be going at the same time.

What really gets environmental activists up in arms is another ruling this week from the Energy Department that eliminates previous restrictions on both energy and water use for new clothes washers and dryers that can be set to a short cycle time. Separate rules are now set for those with a cycle time of under 30 minutes. And the same goes with front-loading washers with a cycle time of 45 minutes or less.  The Energy Department defends the change saying it allows consumers more choices in the marketplace should manufacturers take advantage of that.

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The Associated Press quotes a statement from the National Resources Defense Council as saying, ““With millions of washers and dryers sold in the United States every year, the rule announced today could lead to higher utility bills and additional carbon emissions from powering them. It also comes at a time when areas of the country are increasingly subject to extended droughts and can’t afford to waste water through unnecessary regulatory loopholes like the one just created by DOE.”

So far there’s no indication of a legal challenge to the new rules changes.

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