In countries where we're 'water-rich', where the only constraints to our water use are the capacity of our hot water heater and the fear of a large water bill at the end of the month, how can we learn to use water more wisely at home?
We all know we should not let the water run continuously while we brush our teeth (or do the dishes), and that we should take shorter showers, but how can we translate the length of our showers into actual gallons of water used, and gain a better awareness of our wasteful habits?
One way might be through using a device like the ShowerSaver.
"The ShowerSaver has a unique auto-start feature, which means you never have to worry about remembering to turn it on or off. Simply step into the shower and let the ShowerSaver do the rest. It works by using a special infra-red sensor that knows to start as soon as it picks up your body heat. The ShowerSaver’s intuitive design also makes it simple to read while you're in the shower. As your shower progresses, a virtual water level rises in the center of the display, making it easy to track your progress. In addition, the green, yellow, and red graphics act just like a stop-light, letting you know if you've been in there a little too long." - ShowerSaver
According to the Kickstarter campaign page, the average American uses over 30 gallons per shower (usually daily), so cutting your time in the shower by just a single minute could end up saving up to 2000 gallons of water per year (as well as reducing the cost of the water itself and the energy used to heat it). ShowerSaver estimates that a one minute reduction in shower time could save up to $45 per year, per person, as well as reducing some of the pressure on our precious water resources.
The ShowerSaver device is said to be simple to install (no construction or plumbing alterations are needed), and after it's installed and calibrated for the flow rate from your showerhead, will give automatically give visual clues to your water use (using a red, yellow, and green color scheme similar to traffic lights). Users can also program it with pre-set maximum shower times or amounts of water used, which could help with setting personal targets for wise water use.
Backers of the crowdfunding campaign at the $60 level will be the first to receive a ShowerSaver, so if you think this might help you kick the epic shower habit, you might consider supporting this gadget.