johannasilver

Photo courtesy of Lesleeann Smith

In an ongoing effort to conserve water in our drought-stricken state, The California Energy Commission turned their attention to our showers this week, announcing Wednesday that they've adopted stricter low-flow standards for showerheads.

The new standards slash water flow by 20% on showerheads manufactured after next July, and an additional 10% decrease on those made after July 2018. The reductions will result in a flow of 2 gallons per minute by July 2016 and 1.8 gallons per minute after July 2018. (Most homes currently operate at 2.5 gallons per minute.)

These tough standards—the toughest of any U.S. state—are expected to save 2.4 billion gallons of water in the first year and 38 billion gallons after ten years.

If all of this has you wondering if you'll be showering under a tiny trickle of water, one San Francisco startup is telling us: fear not. Nebia, launched just a day before the news of the new standards, claims to have engineered a showerhead that uses 70% less water than the fixtures in most homes. The flow comes out in mist form at just over half a gallon per minute.

Borrowing from the same technology used in rocket engines, they use atomization to break water into millions of tiny droplets that cover a surface area 100 times greater than a regular shower.

I'm usually a tough sell on water-saving gadgetry, especially with all of the nonsense that crosses my desk as a garden editor. But I've got to say: sign me up for a Nebia!

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