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Easy ways to reduce shower water waste in drought season

Updated: Jan 15

A smart shower head like the Oasense Reva can reduce warm up waste and non-active behavioral waste in shower, by eliminating extra water flow using Reva's built in auto shut off valve.

Why it saving shower water important

2022 has not been kind to the West in terms of rain precipitation, this is especially the case for California. From January to March this year, we have seen the average rain-fall, so far, to be 5.66 inches, 1.3 inch below average and ranked seventh driest January to March period for the US on record.

It is even more for where we are based in Mountain View in California. It’s been the DRIEST EVER first 3 months in California in history. East Bay MUD has already asked customers to reduce 10% of water usage voluntarily, and a possible mandatory reduction and fees or penalties could happen very soon.

State officials also stated that 20% of the wells are reporting all time low water levels, and half of them are having less than 10% of their historic average. Lindsay, CA, a city of about 13,000 people in Central Valley is projected to run out of water by July this year.

Water is becoming a bigger problem, every day as the climate crisis worsens, that’s why we need to give greater importance to saving water. Whether it is taking actions to save energy, water and resources for the planet or for the next generation, or even just saving water and energy to reduce bills, here are some easy actions that can be done to reduce water wastes in your daily life.

Learn more about why we need to save water.

Showering uses about 20% of all household water use, and the average American uses 20 gallons per day per person. Also, since shower water is often heated, it uses even more energy than toilets or gardening if the same amount of water is used. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating is typically the second-largest energy expense in homes (after space heating), and takes up 20% of home energy consumption.

Saving water in shower is something we can all do. Here we will introduce a couple easy ways to save water in shower.

Types of water and energy waste in shower and how we tackle them

There are two categories of shower water wastes:

1. Warm up wastes

2. Behavioral waste in non-active rinsing

Warm up waste

In shower routines, typically what we first would do is turn on the tab and drain out all the cold water from the pipe before water is warmed up. This process wasted lots of water and energy.

Structural waste

The longer it takes for your water from your tank to travel to your shower, the more waste you will generate before water gets warm. The longer the pipe has to route, the more cold water volume there is and hence more water needs to be purged out. Moreover, the longer the pipe the more surface area contacting room temperature air causing energy loss.

Warm up behavioral waste

Because of the long warm up time, we typically wouldn’t stand in the shower to check the temperature. In fact, there are so many distractions these days that we could be on TikTok, texting a friend, replying to emails and over estimate the time that the water is left running . A study at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab showed that shower water waste post-warming takes an average of 30.2% of water use, and energy wasted alongside water comes up to 40% of the shower! That’s a huge amount of dollars flowing down the drain un-enjoyed!

Ways to tackle warm up structural waste:

1. Shorten the pipe route

Although this is a huge modification and not easy to implement, reducing water travel distance from hot water source to shower head can help to reduce warm up time and transportation heat loss greatly.

2. Insulate your pipe

Another way to mitigate this loss of heat is to insulate the pipe. It reduces the heat loss during transportation, especially during winter. Insulation parts can be obtained quite easily at hardware stores like the Homedepot.

3. Use a bucket

As simple as it sounds, it actually works very well. Gallons of cold water can be gathered and repurposed for plants, flushing toilets, mopping the floor and other everyday activities.

4. Install a recirculation machine

Water recirculation pump can help minimize the water warm up period as it keeps circulate cold water back to the heating source. However, be mindful of the energy that is consumed, depends on the electricity price in your region, the return might not be a worthwhile as some of these instruments require huge power to operate and could offset the overall savings.

Ways to reduce warm up behavioral waste

1. Don’t get distracted

It’s as easy as that. Try to test the water temperature every so often to make sure that once water is warmed up, you can start your shower right away.

2. Use a mechanical thermal shut off valve

Evolve has a very good product that once water warms up, the water shuts off.

3. Install an automatic thermal shut off showerhead like the Oasense Reva

Oasense Reva’s smart warm up feature detects your tap temperature settings, and automatically reduces water flow to 10% to save extra warm up waste. Learn more about our technology here. It is super easy to install, and works right from your first shower.

Non-Active Shower behavioral waste

There are a lot of times when we aren’t actually using the water during shower. This is the time when we lather soap, shampoo, shave or meditate. Our study shows that on average, during 40% of the shower time we wouldn't really need to rinse, in fact, when soaping or shampooing we actually don’t want water on our body. This small habit can produce a huge saving straight away.

Easy way to reduce non-active water waste

1. Navy Shower

Navy showers originated on naval ships, where supplies of fresh water were often scarce. Turn off water while shampooing or lathering, resume while rinsing is needed. Significant water saving can happen with this method. According to Wikipedia, one person can save up to 15,000 gallons per year using a Navy shower!

2. Oasense Reva

Step in, step out. Saving water couldn’t be easier with Reva. Think automatic Navy showers, without having to use your hand. Reva’s sensors sense your presence under the shower and reduce water flow when you simply step out while lathering or shampooing. Oasense Reva concentrates all the water during rinsing so we can achieve similar or better water saving as a low-flow showerhead but preserve the good old rinse experience. Our field test shows an average 50% reduction of water usage without limiting the showerhead flow rate!


There are several ways to reduce water waste during your shower, but if you want one solution that can reduce both warm up waste and non-active waste, Oasense Reva is your top choice with a great ROI. It’s the ultimate high pressure high flow water saving showerhead that you can just install in 15 seconds. Save water and enjoy your shower with Oasense Reva


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