Navy shower philosophy limits water use to as little as 3 gallons, compared to a typical “Hollywood” shower that uses 60 gallons every 10 minutes. You don’t have to be as stingy as a sailor, but by installing a low-flow shower head, you’ll save up to 15,000 gallons a year per person. For a family of four, that’s $200 per year off your water bill.
Low-flow shower head features that go way beyond low-flow
- Pause button: Some shower heads, such as the Water Pik EcoFlow, have a pause button that lets you to stop and restart the water at the same temperature.
- Shower timer: The Shower Manager lets you set a time limit to showers so you can keep shower hogs from, well, hogging the water. It gives a 60-second warning and if the shower isn’t turned off, the flow reduces to an uncomfortable trickle. And there’s no override button, so no way to cheat.
- Low-flow temperature gauge: This Road Runner shower head has a feature that keeps the water flow at a trickle until the water has reached your desired temperature and you give it the okay to go full blast. No more wasting water while waiting for the hot water to arrive.
- Alternatives to ultra low-flow: A water volume control on Delta’s Adjustable Flow Rate shower head lets you keep the maximum 2.5 gallon-per minute rate for those days when you need a bit more, but gives you the option to reduce to a gpm rate of 1.6 for those days when a lighter shower will do.
An idea that might not see the light of day
Eco Drop Shower, a stall unit by Italian designer Tommaso Colia, purports to save water not from the top down but from the bottom up. As you shower, a pattern of concentric circles embedded in the floor rises up to the point of discomfort, forcing you to exit. Just make sure to turn off the water first. Seems like you should feel good after a shower, not tortured.