20 Year of the Energy Policy Act: 18.2 Trillion Gallons Saved

Through the Use of More Efficient Toilets


Saturday, March 22 marks World Water Day, an international day of reflection on our planet’s water challenges. This year also marks another significant moment in water history: the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Energy Policy Act, which mandated more water and energy efficient plumbing fixtures, including toilets, urinals, showerheads and faucets.

To celebrate 20 years of this watershed legislation, the Alliance for Water Efficiency examined the savings specifically from toilets required by the EPAct, and found that the power of combining plumbing and policy is clear. AWE estimates that the EPAct has saved the nation 18.2 trillion gallons of water through more efficient toilets, enough water to supply the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York for 20 years.*  

The EPAct of 1992 required the installation of toilets that used no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, or 54% less water than the 3.5 gallons-per-flush toilets found prior to the legislation. 

The estimated 18.2 trillion gallons represents cumulative water savings that have resulted from the use of more efficient toilets, which save an estimated 4.6 billion gallons of water each day.  In addition, further water reductions have been achieved by high efficiency 1.28 gallons-per-flush EPA WaterSense labeled toilets. AWE promotes water conservation policies, programs and products to advance the sustainable and efficient use of water. This finding demonstrates the potential to achieve significant water savings through legislation that requires the use of more efficient technology.

Click here to download hi-res version of the infographic.

For additional resources to raise awareness of water efficiency policies, see the links below and visit AWE’s Legislative Watch page to track and support bills relating to water efficiency and conservation:

*based on current water use