Just because everyone says it so often that it feels like a cliche before it's even happened doesn't make this statement any less true: The next world war will be fought over water resources. And plenty of countries are getting crash courses in how to deal with serious drought and fresh water shortages, including drought-stricken Australia. And that is why Australians are trying out a new shower head that sounds a whole lot better than the "low flow" water-savers on the market.
It's called the Oxijet nozzel and was created by New Zeland company Felton, along with CSIRO. CSIRO reports that this is different from the traditional low flow shower heads in that instead of dropping both flow and pressure, Oxijet pulls air into the water stream so the water droplets are hollow. You get the same feeling of a full-pressure shower but with about half the water.
"With all Australian states currently under water restrictions or permanent water efficiency measures, household water use is decreasing but prices are going up, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Oxijet could provide a cost effective way to reduce household water consumption, without effecting comfort."
Roger Marty, General Manager of Felton states, "The concept of using an aerated showerhead to save water is not new, but the technology behind our device using an aerator insert allows the device to work with existing showers already installed. Our engineers worked with Dr Wu's team to turn the concept into an inexpensive, quality product," he said.
Sure, a new design for a low flow shower head seems trivial and even boring. Or at the very least sooooo green-circa-2007. But simple yet effective devices like this are going to be increasingly more important as water resources dry up in countries where people are used to luxuries like a high-pressure hot shower. It's losing things like these that make people really pissy (just think about the mood you're put in when you jump in the shower to discover it isn't working right...), and designing ways to save water without feeling like you're giving anything up will be vital for actually making progress with water conservation.