These two different approaches to water conservation in the shower could make a dent in your water footprint.
Recently we've seen a number of new devices meant to tackle water conservation in the yard and garden, through smarter irrigation and sprinkler management, using internet-connected control systems and environmental sensors, which could help cut unnecessary water use outside the home. But now the trend seems to have shifted to developing devices to manage water use in the home, with two new products taking aim at our water consumption in the shower. Each one takes a bit different of an approach to water conservation, and both of them claim water savings of up to 70%.
The first device, the e-Shower, is a passive device, similar to the Nebia showerhead, which requires no extra energy inputs to operate, and has no breakable parts that will eventually need replacing. However, the difference between the two is that while the Nebia atomizes the water to increase the surface area of the water droplets and reduce water consumption by 70%, the e-Shower draws a jet of air into the device, using the venturi effect to create "extreme turbulence" and produce "nanobubbles" of air surrounded by water, which is also claimed to save 70% of water use in the shower.
One big plus for the e-Shower is that it is designed to fit virtually any shower pipe, and can be installed in just minutes, with no plumber or technical know-how needed. The other is that it claims to not be affected by calcification or clogging due to hard water (something that is said to be an issue for other water-saving showerheads), and it comes with an unprecedented 30-year guarantee.
The e-Shower has been installed in a variety of locations in Australia, from beach showers to military barracks to motels, so it's not an untested device, but in order to keep up with demand Down Under, and to expand into the US, the inventor is looking to raise money to open a US production facility. To that end, he is is currently seeking crowdfunding though a Kickstarter campaign, and backers pledging $159 AUD (~$112 USD) can get one of these water-saving devices, which could save up to $400 a year in water costs.
The second new water-saving device is decidedly different, in that it is a 'smart' shower addition with onboard sensors that goes between the shower pipe and the shower head, and is designed to connect to a smartphone app.
The EvaDrop device is said to be able to sense how close you are to the showerhead, and to cut back the water flow during times when less is needed, such as for washing your hair or shaving your legs or just waiting for the water to warm up. It also integrates sensors and data collection with the accompanying app, allowing users to track their water usage and habits, and to compare that data with others that are also using the device.
The EvaDrop is claimed to be easily installed, to fit all standard 1/2" shower pipes, to be compatible with 90% of shower heads, and to cut water consumption in the shower by 50%, paying for itself in less than a year. The device is powered by a 9V battery, which is expected to last about a year. The EvaDrop was originally funded on Indiegogo in January of this year, and the company was recently chosen as the recipient of a $62,000 donation from Shock Top's Shock the Drought campaign, which will help underwrite some discounts and donations of the device to worthy organizations. EvaDrop is available for pre-order at the cost of $109.
Although I am a fan of useful technology for reducing water and energy footprints, I'm a much bigger fan of low-tech and no-tech solutions, such as the old-school Navy shower method (which we used almost exclusively while living in our tiny house, with water consumption rates as low as 2 gallons per shower), and I'd love to see a direct comparison between that method and some of these new devices. So, in the interest of consumer science and water conservation, I'd like to say to Nebia, e-Shower, EvaDrop and others, "I'm your huckleberry."