Friday 17 August 2007

I'm a water baby from way back

I know it's very un-PC these days to say you love long showers. But I do.

I'd live in water if I could find a job that would allow it (as apposed to working in hot water, like the days I worked in NZ Parliament).

I've been busy renovating my Yorkeys pad for way too long. The bathroom is like the epi-centre of environmental savings... I'm installing a waterless urinal (this is a boy's place), potentially saving 65,000 litres of water per year.

Our planet is made up of around 75% water. 97% is in our oceans, 2% in our ice caps and glaciers and less than 1% is fresh and available for human use. Worldwide, fresh water consumption multiplied by 6 during the 20th century, while the population tripled during the same period, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Now, to compliment this water-less urinal, my bathroom will include the latest Aussie invention of a shower that you can simply shower continuously in. That's right. How cool (or hot) is that!?

I know it's a cheeky photo, and my bathroom doesn't look like this! It's meant to demonstrate that this shower system can use four times less water and save up to 87% energy.

It's estimated that about 70% of Australian households have ‘pre-water saving’ shower heads that are capable of flowing 20 litres of water per minute. Therefore a 7 minute shower could consume as much as 140 litres of water – that’s equivalent to 14 large buckets of water.

Based on a 7 minute conventional shower, this shower system can save over 100 litres of water.

If four people in the same home were to take a 7 minute shower, then around 560 litres of water could be easily consumed each day or 3,920 litres per week (or 203,840 litres per year!). When comparing this to a ‘water saving’ shower head that consumes around 10 litres per minute, the water consumption could be halved – a significant reduction!

So I'm planning to install a Quench system. How does it work?

Basically there's an internal reservoir that after the first 2 minutes (in which you use the soap to wash yourself... that's approx 20 litres) then the flick a foot drain switch to activate the reservoir catchment system.

This will allow fresh, clean temperature-controlled water to fill the reservoir that is located in the base. Activate the auto-mode and pre-heated water will continue to flow through the shower system for as long as you desire – using as little as 4 litres of water!

A 7 minute Quench shower can consume as little as 25 litres, that’s a saving of 115 litres (82%) per shower when compared to ‘pre-water saving’ shower heads, and a saving of 45 litres (64%) per shower when compared to ‘water saving’ shower heads. Doing the math, that's nearly 42,000 liters a year (if you shower every day!) just for one person.

Incredible stuff, huh.

It's not a cheap system, probably in excess of $4,000, however the Q2 model can be purchased in components which is around $3,000. With water almost dearer than oil, and not likely to get any cheaper, this is a very healthy contribution to your environment.

Watch the Video

The guys (and gals) at Quench (based in Victoria) will make a donation from the sale of every Quench system to the Quench ‘Watertight’ Fund', a not-for-profit organization to help develop new products, technology and services to help the water crisis.

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