According to a U.S. Geological Survey report Public Supply in the United States and Domestic Water Use in America, 2015 ,, public withdrawals were 77% lower in 2015 than they were in 2010. Water-efficient plumbing products that have been listed under the U.S. EPA WaterSense program are a significant contributor to water conservation.
Studies have shown that households can save thousands of gallons per year on water. A conservation ethic in California and other drought-prone regions is also a key factor.
Excessive water conservation: Harmful Potential
As with many things in life, however, good intentions can have unintended consequences. Plumbers who are members of the standards and codes bodies that protect public health in our industry have raised concerns that too much water conservation could have adverse effects.
California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), for example, has published a white paper warning about water quality problems caused by water remaining too long inside pipes. Also, declining wastewater flows could lead to increased blockages, odor, and pipe corrosion.
These are only concerns at this point, and not conclusive. Organizations such as the American Society of Plumbing Engineers or International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials are conducting further research to find out more about water flow problems and how to solve them.