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A study suggests that having high pressure in showers could aid in water conservation for individuals.
Environment World News

A study suggests that having high pressure in showers could aid in water conservation for individuals.

Exchanging a weak stream for a strong one may seem like an unnecessary luxury when showering, but studies suggest that it could potentially conserve water.

The rise in attention towards water usage stems from both scarcity of the resource and the environmental impact of collecting, purifying, supplying, and heating it, particularly in regards to showers.

According to experts, it has been found that increasing water pressure in showers is linked to reduced water usage. Additionally, implementing a shower timer can also be beneficial.

According to the researchers, implementing low-flow equipment may potentially improve shower efficiency and contribute to reaching net zero. However, this should not be the only factor considered.

This study, currently in preprint form and awaiting peer review, consisted of placing sensors in 290 showers throughout the University of Surrey campus. Overall, 86,000 showers were recorded and their duration was analyzed.

The study discovered that although there were some lengthy showers, the typical length was 6.7 minutes. Half of the showers fell within the range of 3.3 to 8.8 minutes.

“Ian Walker, one of the authors and a professor of environmental psychology at the University of Swansea, stated on X that there were no showers lasting over an hour, but we have evidence to prove otherwise.”

Using the duration of each time a person takes a shower and the rate at which water flows from the shower, the researchers calculated how much water was used during each shower. The findings showed that showers with higher pressure were linked to using less water, regardless of the flow rate.

According to Walker, using low flow-rate showers means less water is being delivered compared to high flow-rate showers. However, high-pressure showers lead to reduced water consumption because users tended to turn them off sooner than low-pressure ones.

“He stated that the ideal scenario would be a combination of high pressure and low flow.”

Additionally, the researchers discovered that displaying a timer in the shower can have added advantages by preventing shower durations from gradually increasing over time.

The researchers observed that showers with a combination of high water pressure and timers typically used 17 litres of water per shower, while those with low pressure and no timer used almost 61 litres. According to the team, using a smart timer can decrease water usage by up to 53% in showers with moderate water pressure.

The research, which may have received input from businesses, does have restrictions. It is uncertain how applicable the results would be in a household environment.

The researchers on the team suggest additional studies should be conducted to understand the reason for the decrease in water usage with increasing water pressure and also determine the threshold at which higher pressure no longer results in water conservation.

“According to Walker, showers with higher water pressure were noticeably shorter. The main question to consider is why this is the case. Does the higher pressure simply rinse products off faster, or does it provide a more satisfying and quicker sensation of feeling clean?”

Cameron Brick, an environmental psychologist who is not associated with the study from the University of Amsterdam, mentioned that a notable aspect of the research is its use of unbiased data on water consumption. However, he also noted that the reason for the correlation between high water pressure and shorter showers remains uncertain.

“The aforementioned evidence was obtained by comparing individuals rather than making comparisons within the same person,” he stated. “An additional potential step would be to alter the water pressure in the same households, thereby providing further substantiation for these proposed policies.”

Source: theguardian.com