California is having one of the driest years on record, causing some of the worst drought conditions in recorded history. It’s so dry in California that in Jan. 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a State of Emergency, and directed state officials to take necessary actions to prepare for and respond to drought conditions. In order to reduce water usage state-wide, The California Energy Commission prioritized water efficiency measures for faucets, toilets, and urinals to implement the Governor’s vision for all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.
California consumes about 443 billion gallons of water a year for flushing toilets and urinals, and running faucets. Reducing water consumption by establishing minimum efficiency standards for these appliances is a key component of California’s overall water and energy use strategies. Reducing water consumption is a key component of California’s overall water and energy use strategies.
How much water and energy can be saved?
The update to the standards for toilets, urinals, and faucets would save about 10.3 billion gallons of water, 30.6 million therms (Mtherm) of natural gas, and 218 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year when the standards are first in effect. By 2039 after the existing stock of water appliances are replaced, the savings increases to an estimated 105 billion gallons of water, 278 Mtherm of natural gas, and 2,100 GWh of electricity a year. This is a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco. In addition, the standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.