This Spanish startup is offering a simple solution for one common home water conservation challenge.
Depending on how far your shower, bath, or faucet is from your water heater, every time you want hot water, you have to let a gallon or more of the cold water that's already in the pipes to run down the drain, and although it's one of the easiest things to catch, it's all too often inconvenient to do so. Other than installing an on-demand water heater right next to the bathroom, the only other permanent solution seems to be to route the shower/tub/faucet drains into a greywater system, which doesn't reduce the amount of warmup water, but which will then direct that water to trees and plants instead of to the city's wastewater plant.
Granted, trying to save a few gallons per day at home by capturing warmup water is just a drip in the bucket when it comes to overall water consumption figures, but then again, water is one of our most precious resources, and every bit saved or reused is that much more for other essential purposes. Waste not, want not, as our grandparents used to say.
One Spanish company is looking to make it more convenient to catch and reuse the warmup water from showers with its WaterDrop totes, which are designed to be easy to fill, carry, and empty. The WaterDrop, from esferic, hangs over the tub fixture and the showerhead goes into the bag (or alternatively, the tub faucet would fill it directly), and the bag catches the water until it warms up, after which the shower or bath is used as usual. Afterward, the full WaterDrop (~3.5 liters) can be used to flush the toilet when needed or brought to another location in the home or yard and used for watering plants, pets, or for cleaning. I'm not so sure I'd want to take my saved warmup water for a walk with me, as is shown in the below pitch video, but hey, what do I know?
Yes, WaterDrop is another plastic bag on a planet where we're suffering from an overload of plastic bags, but assuming the product lives up to its promises, it could have a long useful life. The makers say that their choice of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) was made with that in mind, and that the material's qualities make it "probably the best plastic material" they found in order to get a long lifecycle from the product.
WaterDrop is currently in a crowdfunding phase, with backers at the $13 level getting a tote of their own when they ship in March of 2016, along with the release of an accompanying app designed to create a water-saving social community.
Of course, you don't have to wait until March of next year to start saving warmup water, because all it really takes is a bucket or two (and large bowl for a sink), plus the discipline to catch it every time, even if you might not look as cool carrying a bucket as you might with a WaterDrop. Just sayin'.