Sustainability Problem: Showering accounts for nearly 30% of all household water consumption. Access to clean water is an ongoing problem in the developing world, and is something that citizens in wealthier, developed countries take for granted. According to the OECD, global water demand will increase by 55% by 2050, which is a terrifying reality considering the fact that global water stress is expected to double by then. Considering these projections, it is imperative that we begin utilizing technologies that promote more sustainable water usage and consumption.
The Technology: Orbital Systems is a Swedish company that manufactures and installs water recycling systems, which continuously purifies and recycles the water used, for the duration of a shower. The technology also has an integrated testing system that monitors the water quality during the shower. According to their Website, the system uses only 10% of the water, and 20% of the energy that a traditional shower uses, which extends the benefits of the technology beyond saving water. Running a standard shower for 10 minutes typically uses around 40 gallons of water, where the Orbital Systems shower only uses 1.3 gallons. Once the individual has completed his/her shower, the system flushes out the recycled water, so that the next showerer will not bathe in someone else’s water.
Stakeholders: Some of the stakeholders here could be:
- Energy companies
- Water companies
- Urban Municipalities
- For the purpose of imposing water regulations on new/retrofitted buildings
- Building Developers
- Landlords/Property Owners (especially those who cover the water bill)
- Hospitality Industry
- Hotel Chains
- Restautants (perhaps if the technology can be one day modified for sinks)
Process For Implementation: Ideally, either a hotel chain or large scale commercial developer would partner with the company to install these systems in either a section of an existing hotel or residential building. Perhaps some ways to make this happen would be:
- Conduct a CBA or feasibility analysis that shows how much energy, water, and money could be saved from aggregate system installations (i.e. 100, 1,000, 100,000).
- Propose policy that provides supplements or monetary incentivies for hotels or commercial developers to install this technology.
- Monitor the feedback/data to capture technologies successes for the purpose of advertising it/creating buzz.
2 thoughts on “A More Sustainable Shower”
Thank you for sharing. I think that one of the most fascinating features of this water recycling system is that the water will be cleaner than what normally would come from the tap. This could be a major selling point on top of the already huge water savings. As mentioned in the article, this company could explore using this product in areas with clean water shortages.
This technology seems wonderful! I would wonder if this technology could also be applied to other household uses: e.g. bathroom sinks and kitchen sinks. If it is possible to use this type of technology for showers where we use soaps, shampoos etc. what should prevent this technology from being used elsewhere in the household?