A new shower head technology alerts you when you've been bathing for too long and helps you to cut down on the water you use in the shower. A light turns gradually from green to red as time ticks on and when it reaches red, it's time to get out.
"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors of the Uji Showerhead, Brett Andler to NPR. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."
Of course there's no major consequence like the water shutting off once time's up or anything like that, but just the reminder that a set amount of time has passed helps people to take water conserving action. Currently the prototype hits red at seven minutes so that people will be out of the shower by minute eight, but the inventors are considering having a model with an adjustable time limit once it hits the market.
Priced at $50, Uji's website says, "The Uji showerhead will pay for itself in energy and water savings after only 7 months of use. After this the showerhead will save you about $85/year installed. It’s great for families with smaller hot water tanks or teens who take too long in the shower."
The product received grants from the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for prototyping and testing and Uji has already gotten commitments from at least four universities to pilot the shower heads in their dorms to save water. As for the rest of us, Uji plans to have the shower head on the market by early 2014.