Water is life, as the saying goes, and saving water is more important now than ever.
Using less water means less energy used and less money spent to treat, pump, and heat water, along with preserving the health of freshwater sources like rivers and estuaries.
Luckily, one simple change can mean a lot less water usage for the average American family. Switching to a showerhead with an EPA-approved WaterSense label can save the average household 2,700 gallons of water per year.
What is a WaterSense showerhead?
A WaterSense showerhead is one that meets EPA-mandated standards across three key criteria: flow rate, spray force, and spray coverage. WaterSense showerheads come in all manners of brands, shapes, and sizes, and are available at retailers like Amazon and Home Depot.
Why are WaterSense showerheads important?
The savings of water, energy, and money from installing a WaterSense showerhead can be great.
A typical showerhead uses an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm), but a WaterSense showerhead uses a maximum of two gpm, making WaterSense showerheads 20% more efficient than their standard counterparts.
The EPA estimates that installing a WaterSense showerhead can save the average family 330 kilowatt hours of electricity each year — the equivalent of 11 days’ worth of home power — and that combined water and energy bill savings can add up to $70 per year.
The Pacific Institute, a global water think tank, breaks down the monetary savings even further. “A more-efficient showerhead alone can save $16 in water, $19 in wastewater, and $30 in energy bills annually,” the group writes on its blog.
In addition to the individual and economic benefits, switching to a WaterSense showerhead can make a big difference for the planet.
Americans use over a trillion gallons of water each year for showering alone, which equates to a year’s supply for New York and New Jersey combined. Considering less than 3% of the world’s water is freshwater (and most of it is inaccessible), saving water is key to the health of our communities and our environment.
“On a national scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.9 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually,” the EPA explains on its website. “In addition, we could avoid about $2.5 billion in energy costs for heating water.”
But wait, there’s more: If you’re ready to switch to a WaterSense showerhead, you may be eligible to get one for free or to receive a rebate on your purchase.
You can check the EPA website to see if your city has a water conservation program in place. These conservation programs can offer giveaways and/or rebates on other WaterSense products as well, from toilets to faucets.
The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, for instance, offers free water conservation kits for residents, each of which includes a self-cleaning, massaging WaterSense showerhead.