It was probably intended to save water and perhaps to prevent flooding in non-domestic lavatories or "washrooms". I am thinking about the push tap. You must have encountered this incredible invention yourself. Only, it is not so incredible is it?
My experience of push taps has been like this. Firstly, I have soap on my hands and I press the tap only to find that there is no delay in the system. It's okay when the tap is pressed - the water flows - but immediately upon release the water stops and you are left with soap on your hands.
Secondly, the temperature of the water may be unbearably hot so you can't wash your hands under the push tap. Thirdly, after pressing, the push tap won't stop working as the continuously flowing water gushing from it threatens to empty the local reservoir.
I can only imagine that the push tap was invented by Margaret Thatcher, Joseph Goebbels or some equally horrible individual intent on bringing misery to the western world. Another despicable invention you find in "washrooms"is the electric hand drier but please don't get me started on those damned things.