Shower of Power
MAIN TOPIC OF VIDEO: Water Efficiency Related to Showers
- What are some uses of water in our daily lives?
- Is there an unlimited amount of water available for people to use?
- Why is it important to save water?
- Green Ninja told Ken, “Depending on what kind of showerhead you have, a shower can use between 2-7 gallons of water per minute.” Calculate the water usage for the following shower fixtures and see how much water is used over time by each one.
- A 2 gpm showerhead for 5, 10, 15 and 30 min
- A 4 gpm showerhead for 5, 10, 15 and 30 min
- A 7 gpm showerhead for 5, 10, 15 and 30 min
- Green Ninja also stated, “By cutting your shower time by five minutes, you can save at least 10 gallons of water.” Is this true?
- What’s the difference between an efficient showerhead versus an inefficient showerhead?
- To figure out how efficient your shower fixture is, hold a bucket under the showerhead and fill it up to the 1-gallon mark while timing how many seconds it take to do so. Divide 60 by the number of seconds it took to flow one gallon from the showerhead to get the gpm (gallons per minute) output. How efficient is your showerhead?
- The video showed us that by taking shorter showers, we would save a lot of water. What are some other daily routines at home we could change that would help save water? Refer to the links below for some tips: EPA Water Sense, Top Five Acgtions from H2ouse.org, EPA Water Sense Kids.
- Further your knowledge on water efficiency around the house by taking the H2OUSE Home Tour. Then play some online games to test your water knowledge! The Water Family, EPA Water Sense Kids
ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
- Answers may vary and students will likely list several uses of water at home. Extend the conversation by showing them the circle graph below and discuss how manufacturing the stuff we use and supplying electricity we use also requires the use of water.
- No. In fact, there is an extremely limited amount of water — less than 1% of the water on Earth is available to people. Use the graphic on the following webpage to have a discussion with students on how most of the water in the world is saltwater — unusable. Even among the available freshwater, most of it is trapped in glaciers and underground. http://www.watereducation.org/doc.asp?id=1022#EarthsWaterSupply
- Most of the world actually has limited access to freshwater. As the world population increases, demand for freshwater will also increase. Much of the U.S. is suffering from serious drought conditions already and we are using up this limited resource so it is important to conserve water whenever possible. Quoted from the EPA Water Sense website:
- “When reservoir water levels get lower and ground water tables drop, water supplies, human health, and the environment are put at serious risk. For example, lower water levels can contribute to higher concentrations of natural and human pollutants.
- Less water going down the drain means more water available in the lakes, rivers and streams that we use for recreation and wildlife uses to survive. Using water more efficiently helps maintain supplies at safe levels, protecting human health and the environment.”
- 2 gpm = 10 gallons (5 min), 20 gallons (10 min), 30 gallons (15 min), 60 gallons (30 min).
- 4 gpm = 20 gallons (5 min), 40 gallons (10 min), 60 gallons (15 min), 120 gallons (30 min).
- 7 gpm = 35 gallons (5 min), 70 gallons (10 min), 105 gallons (15 min), 210 gallons (30 min).
- Yes. Even with the most efficient showerhead, the difference between a 5-Minute and 10-Minute shower means saving 10 gallons of water. The less efficient the showerhead, the more drastic difference in the amount of water used over any period of time.
- Efficient fixtures still maintain a high pressure that feels good while lowering the amount of water used. Low-flow showerheads can slash water consumption by 50-70%. Inefficient showerheads use a lot more water per minute to maintain that sense of high pressure.
- Answers may vary.
- See above links for examples.
- There are no specific answers for this activity, but students would benefit from a discussion on what they’ve learned from the explorations online.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND LEARNING EXPERIENCES:
- We learned that taking shorter showers makes us more “water efficient.” How does taking shorter showers also help with “energy efficiency”?
- It takes energy to heat the water that we use for showers as well other uses (such as doing laundry). The less water we use, the less energy we use. “Energy Saver 101” by the U.S Department of Energy.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND RESOURCES
- “Engaging Students Through Global Issues” from Facing the Future
- Lesson 16: Every Drop Counts
- Environmental Protection Agency “Water Sense”
Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Hannah Sun.