Americans are in the midst of a toilet-flushing epidemic, according to the president.
Speaking to the press on Friday, with the hammer of impeachment poised to fall and countless domestic and international crises to consider, Donald Trump took on a pressing enemy: poor water pressure caused by conservation laws.
“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water,” Trump said while talking with business owners about what he called ‘‘commonsense” steps to end overregulation.
The government, Trump said, was investigating: “We’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers,” he said, prompting listeners to picture him staring as hard as he could at a tap.
Trump announced on Friday he had issued an order to review water-saving regulations for various bathroom facilities.
Use of low-flush toilets started in the 1990s after President George HW Bush signed the Energy Policy Act. The 1992 law said new toilets could use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. The law went into effect in 1994 for residential buildings and 1997 for commercial structures.
“You go into a new building, a new house or a new home and they have standards and you don’t get water,” Trump said. “You can’t wash your hands practically, there’s so little water that comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you so much longer to wash your hands and you end up using the same amount of water.”
Trump said relaxing water-conservation standards might not be practical in some arid regions of the nation, but he claimed in many states, there is plenty of water. ‘‘It comes down. It’s called rain,” he said.
But, as so often with Trump, the solution isn’t so simple: as Bloomberg reported, a 2014 Government Accountability Office report found 40 of 50 state water managers feared water shortages in their states during the next decade. Yes, water is known to fall from the sky. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t conserve it.