Easy ways to reduce shower water waste in drought season

Updated: Jul 3

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.

Also learn about easy ways to save water at home.

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: