A new study has confirmed a sustainable shower hack that became popularised during the Day Zero panic in Cape Town during the drought: The idea of visibly timing your showers.
Participants took showers in units which were fitted with Aguardio sensors. These sensors monitor water usage and give the person showering feedback about how long their showers are taking.
The study found that those who had the sensors and a timer fitted saved roughly 2 minutes per shower.
“These initial findings show that unobtrusive sensors can be effective at capturing anonymous data on hidden water-use behaviours, and that real-time feedback displays can have an influence on those behaviours to promote water conservation,” said environmental scientist Heather Smith, from Cranfield University.
The study, while still preliminary, highlights how small changes in our everyday behaviour can have an effect on the environment.
“Studies like this can give us a better understanding of water-use habits and motivations to change behaviour to reduce water consumption and costs,” said environmental scientist Caitriona Shannon, from Cranfield University.
“Insights from these studies will contribute to a better understanding of pro-environmental behaviour, and the impact of hidden behaviours in particular.”
While your home may not have a fancy sensor or timer installed in your shower, try testing out having a stopwatch, cooking timer or even your phone in the bathroom with you set to a specific time. Each time you get used to a specific time, shorten the timer to be even more effective at saving water.