Does Showering Really Save Water? Uncovering the Truth

Isn’t it wonderful to stand under a warm, relaxing shower after a long day?

But have you ever paused to think about how much water goes down the drain during your daily rinse?

Let’s dive into the world of water usage and uncover the truth: does showering really save water?

Key Takeaways

  • Showers generally use less water than baths, with average use ranging from 96 to 176 liters, but installing water-efficient showerheads can decrease this consumption more effectively.
  • By employing strategies such as low-flow showerheads, reducing shower time, and adopting water-saving techniques like the Navy Style shower, individuals can significantly reduce water and energy usage.
  • Reduced water usage not only has a positive impact on the environment by protecting water sources but also leads to energy and cost savings, with potential annual utility bill reductions.

Shower vs. Bath: Water Consumption Comparison

A relaxing bath or a quick shower? It’s a debate as old as indoor plumbing itself, often referred to as the “bath debate.”

While personal preferences may lead us towards one or the other, from a water usage perspective, showers usually use less water than baths, especially with low flow showerheads.

But how much water does an average shower or bath really use? And what are the factors influencing this?

Let’s uncover the facts.

An average shower can use between 96 to 176 liters of water, but water-efficient showerheads can help reduce this volume.

On the other hand, a standard bath usually consumes around 80 to 100 litres of water, but this can vary based on your local water company’s specifics.

So, while showers typically use less water, the type of your showerhead and how long you luxuriate under the warm cascade can tip the scale.

Average Shower Water Usage

Let’s examine the details of water usage during showers.

An average shower lasting around 8 minutes can use between 96-176L of water, dependent on the showerhead type and duration.

A standard showerhead usually uses about 2.5 gallons (around 9.5 litres) of water per minute, but low-flow showerheads can help save a good amount of water, and consequently, money on water bills.

So, if you’re wondering how to cut down on your water usage, switching to efficient showerheads can be an excellent first step.

Not only do they save water, but they also lead to considerable energy savings, as less water needs to be heated for your shower.

Average Bath Water Usage

Turning our attention to baths, the typical water usage for a regular bath is around 80-100L, which is approximately 21-26 gallons of water.

However, this can vary based on factors like the size of the bathtub and how much you fill it up.

So, those luxuriously long soaks in a filled-to-the-brim tub can significantly ramp up water usage.

Moreover, the length of your bath time also influences water consumption.

The longer the bath, the more hot water you need to keep the temperature comfortable, leading to increased energy usage for heating.

Therefore, being mindful of these factors can help in reducing water usage during baths.

Maximising Water Efficiency in Showers

Having grasped the water consumption of showers and baths, it’s time to concentrate on enhancing the water efficiency of our showers.

By implementing a few simple changes like using low flow showerheads, reducing shower time, and employing water-saving techniques, we can significantly optimize water usage in showers.

Take, for instance, the act of taking shorter showers.

By shaving off even a few minutes from our shower time, we can save a considerable amount of water and energy.

And then, there are innovative water-saving techniques like turning off the water while soaping up or using a bucket to catch excess water for reuse.

Hence, let’s explore these strategies in more detail.

Low Flow Showerheads

Low flow showerheads, also known as low flow shower heads, are a perfect example of small changes making a significant impact.

These innovative devices use only 5-9 litres per minute, reducing water consumption by limiting the flow rate during a shower.

But how do these showerheads work?

They contain a flow regulator that restricts the amount of water flowing through the showerhead, thus saving water and energy.

Installing a low flow showerhead is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by removing the old showerhead.
  2. Clean the shower arm threads.
  3. Apply plumber’s tape to prevent leaks.
  4. Screw the new low flow showerhead onto the shower arm.
  5. Tighten it with pliers if necessary.

Voila! You’re on your way to a more water-efficient shower head.

Shower Time Reduction

Shower Time Reduction for Water Conservation

Reducing your shower time is another easy yet effective way to save water.

Just by cutting the shower time by one minute, you can save thousands of litres of water per year.

You can employ strategies like:

  • waiting to turn on the shower until you’re ready to step in
  • multitasking by rinsing shampoo while brushing your teeth
  • using a timer to keep track of your shower time

Interestingly, shower times vary greatly across different countries.

For instance, people in the UK average about 9.6 minutes in the shower, while folks in Brazil take a shower about 14 times a week, and in the US, showering is pretty much a daily routine.

No matter where you live, cutting down on shower time can lead to significant water and energy savings.

Water-Saving Techniques

Water-Saving Technique: Navy Style Shower

Beyond low flow showerheads and reducing shower time, there are other water-saving techniques that you can adopt.

One such method is the Navy Style shower.

This technique, developed by the Navy to conserve water on ships, involves turning off the water while you lather up with soap and shampoo, and then turning it back on to rinse off.

Such a simple change can lead to substantial water savings.

In fact, by switching to the Navy Style shower, you can save thousands of litres of water per year.

So, the next time you step into the shower, give the Navy Style shower a try.

You might be surprised at the results!

Environmental Impact

As we have seen, efficient water use has significant benefits for our wallets.

But the benefits extend beyond our bank accounts.

By using water efficiently, we help protect rivers, aquifers, and wildlife from overuse and depletion.

This is why it’s essential to support local water companies in their efforts to manage resources responsibly.

Water is a precious resource, and every drop saved contributes to a healthier and more sustainable environment.

Hence, each time you step into the shower, bear in mind that conscientious water usage not only saves money but also aids in protecting our planet’s health by reducing your carbon footprint.

Energy and Cost Savings

Though our main focus has been on water conservation, it’s pertinent to emphasise that reduced water usage also leads to substantial energy and cost savings.

The less water we use, the less energy we need to:

  • heat it
  • treat it
  • pump it
  • deliver it to our homes

In fact, by reducing your shower time, you can save about £43 per year per person on utility bills.

So, being a bit more mindful in the shower can go a long way in not just reducing your water usage, but also in saving money on your energy consumption and utility bills.

Reusing Shower Water

Another exciting concept in water conservation is the reuse of shower water.

By placing a container to catch the water while you’re waiting for it to warm up or using buckets to gather the ongoing excess water, you can significantly reduce water waste.

For example, the water saved in the bucket could be used to water your plants or for cleaning your home.

Reusing shower water has multiple benefits for the environment, including:

  • Reducing water usage
  • Sustaining freshwater supplies
  • Reducing water diversion from ecosystems
  • Enhancing wetlands
  • Cutting down pollution
  • Saving energy
  • Conserving overall water resources

Therefore, each time you take a shower, ponder on methods to repurpose the water that would otherwise be wasted.

Bathroom Water Efficiency

Although showers constitute a significant portion of water usage, they are not the sole water-consuming fixtures in our bathrooms.

In fact, about 68% of household water is used up by:

  • showers
  • toilets
  • baths
  • bathroom sinks

So, achieving bathroom water efficiency involves looking beyond just showers.

Consider installing water-saving fixtures like pressure-reducing valves,

WaterSense-labeled faucets, high-efficiency toilets, and more.

By making these changes, you can reduce your water usage, save on utility bills, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you save water by showering instead of bathing?

Yes, taking a shower instead of a bath can help you save water since a ten-minute shower typically uses 25 gallons of water, while a full bath can use up to 50 gallons.

How long should you shower for to save water?

You should aim to keep your shower time to 4 minutes or less to save water.

You can use a shower timer or your favourite 4-minute song to help you stay on track.

How much water do you save having a shower?

By showering just one minute less, you can save around 10 litres of water and £8 in energy costs per year.

This small change could help households save over 28,000 litres of water and £100 in energy and water every year.

Is showering wasting water?

Yes, showering can contribute to significant water wastage, as an average American family uses about 40 gallons of water per day in the shower, totaling 1.2 trillion gallons of water in the United States each year.

While it’s important to practice water efficiency to ensure reliable water supplies for future generations.

How much water does an average shower use?

An average shower uses between 96-176L of water, depending on the showerhead type and duration.

Keep an eye on your shower time to conserve water!


As we’ve seen throughout this blog post, being mindful of our water usage, especially when it comes to our daily showers, can result in significant savings – not just for our wallets, but for our planet as well.

From choosing low-flow showerheads and reducing shower time to adopting water-saving techniques and reusing shower water, there are myriad ways to make our showers more water-efficient.

So, the next time you step into the shower, remember the potential impact of your actions.

By making a few simple changes, you can contribute to water conservation, reduce energy consumption, save money, and above all, help protect our precious environment.


  • Zero & Zen

    Dedicated to the cause of sustainability and eco-friendliness, our mission is to raise awareness about the importance of eco-conscious living.

    We firmly believe that individual actions can spark collective change and recognise the need for sustainable living to be tailored to your unique circumstances and pace.

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