President Trump Addresses Water Conservation

At a December 16, 2019 meeting of small business leaders at the White House, President Donald Trump talked at length about water and energy conservation, saying the Environmental Protection Agency is looking into restrictions in part because people are flushing their toilets 10 to 15 times instead of once and are therefore using more water.

“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where it all flows out to sea because you could never handle it all, and you don’t get any water,” he said.

“They take a shower and water comes dripping out, very quietly dripping out. People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once; they end up using more water. So EPA is looking very strongly at that, at my suggestion.

“You go into a new building, new house, a new home, and they have standards where [you] don’t get water, and you can’t wash your hands practically; there’s so little water,” he added. “And the end result is that you leave the faucet on, and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, and you end up using the same amount of water. So we’re looking very seriously at opening up the standard, and there may be some areas where we go the other route, desert areas, but for the most part, you have states where they have so much water where it comes down — it’s called rain — that they don’t know what to do with it.”

In his comments, the president appeared to be referring to the standards set by the National Energy Policy Act of 1995, federal regulations that stipulated that all newly manufactured toilets had to use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush, a significant decrease from previous standards.

Just a couple of days earlier, at a NATO conference in Europe, the president blamed ocean trash in US waters on the bad habits of other countries:  “I also see what’s happening with our oceans, where certain countries are dumping unlimited loads of things in it. They float — they tend to float toward the United States. I see that happening, and nobody has ever seen anything like it, and it’s gotten worse.”‘