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6 TAKE A NAVY SHOWER

This action focuses on reducing the amount of water needed for showering to 10 gallons or less by taking a 'navy shower.'

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why?

half-gallon jug in the toilet tankThe average 10 minute shower uses anywhere from twenty to forty gallons of water. Showering is the largest daily water use outside of irrigation for lawns. A 'low flow' showerhead has a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute (20 gallons for a 10 minute shower) while the average showerhead uses 4 gallons per minute (40 gallons for a 10 minute shower). By using less running water in the shower everyday, you can save anywhere from 10-20 gallons of water.

The 1992 Federal Energy Policy Act required all toilets, sink faucets and showerheads manufactured in the United States after January 1, 1994 be low-volume fixtures. Toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf); sink faucets no more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm); and showerheads no more than 2.5 gpm. Fixtures installed before 1994 were not required to be retrofitted; therefore, 5 to 7 gpf toilets and 3 to 4 gpm sink faucets and showerheads are still in extensive use throughout the United States (Metropolitan Council).


how to do this action:

The first step for this action is to measure the flow rate of your showerhead. This is easily done with a one-gallon bucket (or measure out a gallon in any container and draw a line). Turn on the fixture to the amount of water which is typically used during a shower. Start a timer for one minute and place the bucket under the water. As the bucket fills, dump out the water and begin refilling, keeping track of how many times the bucket was filled during the minute.

Once you know the flow rate you can calculate how much water was for used each shower depending on how many minutes the water was running. The goal with this action is to reduce the amount of water needed for showering to 10 gallons or less by taking a 'navy shower'.

Turn the shower on just long enough to get wet, the turn the shower off. Soap up and wash, then turn the shower back on just long enough to rinse and then turn the water off.

For a typical showerhead (4 gallons per minute flow rate) you can run the water for a total of 2.5 minutes. For a low flow showerhead (2 gallons per minute or less) you can run the water for a total of 5 minutes.

This type of shower can be more easily accommodated using a 'flow controller'. This is a simple piece of hardware found at many hardware stores which attaches to the showerhead allowing you to turn the water off momentarily, soap up and turn it back on without having to waste water resetting the temperature.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: How much water can be saved per shower by taking a ‘navy shower’ (turning water off and on)?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of taking a ‘navy shower’ affect your happiness, convenience, health and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (WTR6_BASELINE) to determine your current shower water use.

  • (1) Find the flow rate of your shower fixture in gallons/minute (see action text for more information about this).
  • (2) Time the length of the shower each day.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (WTR6_BASELINE) as it relates to your current shower water consumption:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
Use the corresponding spreadsheet (WTR6_QUANTITATIVE) to keep track of the time you ran water during your shower on the first day of each week, seeing how many gallons of water are used when taking a navy shower. The goal is to use 10 gallons or less.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria wekly on the spreadsheet (WTR6_QUALITATIVE). Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences as you implement this action and how it has affected your life. Some of the following questions might be helpful as you reflect upon your experiences.

What was your experience like taking a navy shower? Did you find that this was an easy habit to adopt or was it difficult? Why? Did your attitudes towards this habit vary at all depending on time of day or weather?


resources

Metropolitan Council, Water Conservation Toolbox
ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

WTR6_Take a Navy Shower Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

WTR6_BASELINE
WTR6_QUANTITATIVE
WTR6_QUALITATIVE