Long showers can be wonderful but wasteful in terms of water use (and may not even be healthy). But with a recycled water shower system, you could enjoy a languid wash, free of guilt. Designed by Swedish industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, the OrbSys (Orbital Systems) design drastically cuts down on the amount of water used during a 10-minute shower.
In a standard shower, a mere 10 minutes can use up to 150 litres (40 gallons) of water. Building upon the idea of designs used for space travel, where astronauts will reuse the same water over and over again, OrbSys is a closed-loop system that cuts down on water consumption by purifying shower water that drains at the bottom to drinking standards, and is cycled up to the shower head be used again.
It is incredibly effective, and the whole process takes only a short time, so the recycled water only needs minimal re-heating. The system uses only about 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of water for a 10-minute shower, or 90 percent less water and 80 percent less energy, potentially translating to over $1,300 worth of savings each year. (There's a nifty calculator on the website estimating yearly savings, depending on the location.)
Mahdjoubi tells CNN how he was inspired by the ultra-minimal use of resources in space technology:
In an extreme environment such as a space mission to Mars, design concepts are brought forward to use all of the possible resources to make it there and back. I don't see any reason why we can't be as efficient on Earth as we can be in space.
This concept is something that would be a boon to water-starved areas, but it's also intelligent in general, says Mahdjoubi:
I want to get it to as many people as possible. That's the next step. It's not just about saving water. The motivation is to be smart about how we use our planet's resources.