Measuring Wasted Water

Sustainability and Renewable Energy
Rayce Gibson

Elyse Wexler

Wasted water is a very pressing issue. We also all like warm showers. Trying to measure how much water is wasted could potentially save thousands of gallons of water or more per year. Since a lot of the southwest US is in a drought, using less water also makes it more available for more people to use. By researching the average water temperature of a shower, and timing how long it takes to get to that temperature, the water was allowed to flow into a bucket and then measured back out. By knowing this information, you can conserve water in times when there is not much water to spare. Overall, the results of the experiment were not quite as expected. Some of the data was very unexpected. The shower warmed up quicker than expected and the flow was less than what was rated on the showerhead. The rated flow on the showerhead was 5.7 liters per minute, and after testing, the flow only ever ended up being 3.4-4 liters per minute.

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Lab journal excerpts

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Research paper

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2 thoughts on “Measuring Wasted Water

  1. Excellent “nuts and bolts” question relative to water conservation. Suggest you share the results with Tucson Water.
    I had the same question in my house as my shower was located a considerable distance from the water heater. I installed a small electric (solar powered) water heater in the bathroom but also connected to the water line from the heater. I could start the shower immediately with minimal water waste while everything evened out.

  2. Well written and easy to follow test. The charts were very helpful to visualize the results.

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