Throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium the message from environmental groups was clear: take a shower if you want to save water, as taking a bath wastes liters upon liters of the stuff.
On the face of it, this advice made a great deal of sense. When we thought about it, it seemed impossible that you couldn’t use less water when having a shower. However, when you delve deeper into the subject, there are several variables thrown out which need to be considered.
How Much Water You Use
Of course, this is the central point of the whole argument. How much water do you use when having a shower or a bath?
The problem is that the answer is variable. Baths come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and we all have different preferences when it comes to taking a bath. Some people might choose to indulge themselves in a lengthy soak surrounded by candles while enjoying a glass of wine, while others will literally use only what they feel they need, whether they’re being eco-friendly or are simply in a hurry.
Alternatively, the same is true of showers. While a shower faucet or water flow controller might save water, if you decide that you’re going to stand under the shower for half an hour, there is every chance that you could easily use just as much, if not more, water than if you were having a bath.
Finding Accurate Numbers
We then have to consider the fact that it’s almost impossible to put an accurate figure on water usage. If you take to the streets and start conducting research, no one is going to admit, given the focus there is on environmental issues today, that they fill up their bath as much as possible, and only use it for relaxing before then taking a shower anyway. Even if you were to do an online survey, people would still be more likely to understate their water use.
The Benefits of Showers vs. Baths
If we want to come up with a definitive answer to the question of what saves more water, it is perhaps better to look at the question of potential. If you use a tap aerator in the bath, for example, it won’t make any difference, as you still need the same volume of water to fill the bath before you get in.
However, you do see big differences when you look at showers, as a faucet or low flow controller, such as those sold by Agua Flux, can make a huge difference to water usage, and don’t place any barriers in terms of having a shower and washing yourself.
It is Possible to Save Water from Baths?
There is no doubt that people who prefer taking a bath can save water, but then we have to remember that people who take baths often do so to relax; it is an indulgence rather than a functio
nal purpose, although studies also suggest a variety of reasons why people do this.
Overall, taking showers definitely saves more water, particularly if intense power showers are avoided and a range of water saving products are used.
Terance Nichols is a home improvement expert who works with clients interested in making their homes and lifestyle more eco-friendly and sustainable.