A Fight Over Luxury Showers

Regulators are going after some of the luxury shower fixtures that took off in the housing boom. Many have multiple nozzles, cost thousands of dollars and emit as many as 12 gallons of water a minute. In May, the DOE stunned the plumbing-products industry when it said it would adopt a strict definition of the term "showerhead" in enforcing standards that have been on the books—but largely unenforced—for nearly 20 years. Industry response has been fast and furious. The showdown is a challenge to President Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, as they try to convince Americans to use water and energy more efficiently.