Everyone enjoys a nice, hot shower. Unfortunately, our indulgence leads to countless gallons of wasted water. How might we reduce water waste, build better habits, and refocus the conversation on water conservation?
A person who takes a daily 10-minute shower can save over 3,600 gallons annually by simply upgrading to one of these more efficient shower heads. That’s a lot of water without any extra effort, and that’s just one person. The savings multiply with family members or roommates.
Refocusing on Water
Efficient shower heads are a simple initial solution, but how do we affect user behaviors to reduce water waste? We must help them build better habits.
To do this, I propose a three-pronged plan:
Automatically shut off water to hold users accountable
Find a use for the first gallon that goes to waste waiting for water to heat up
Remind users that the focus is not only time but volume of water consumed
Point 1 requires good engineering. Points 2 and 3 require a good analogy.
Set desired temperature
Set desired time limit
When time limit is set, mechanically timed valve diverts first gallon of water to fill the indicator tank
Once filled, mechanical valve automatically diverts water to shower head
As shower progresses, indicator tank drains through the spout
When time is up, timer dial automatically shuts off water