Take A Shower — Save Some Water
Water is the most abundant resource in the world, but it is also one of the biggest problems. Water makes up 71% of the Earth’s surface, but only 64% of the global population has direct access to clean water. As many as 8 million people die every year from the consequences of water-related diseases.
Ironically, while so many people “die of thirst,” our planet is getting more wet each year. Global warming is causing an increased meltdown of the polar ice cap — as the sun shines, the ice area reflecting the sunlight decreases, which in turn warms up the atmosphere even more, accelerating the ice melting process…
Additionally, a lot of the precious “blue gold” is wasted in our household. The average American consumes about 33,000 gallons per year, and the vast majority of it is literally wasted in the toilet, and in the shower. Old showers pushed out about 5 gallons per minute, modern ones release about 2.5 gallons per minute. Knowing that the average American takes about 8 minutes per shower, this equals to about 20 gallons of water each time.
Today, there is an innovative startup focused on increasing shower efficiency. With it, the consumption per shower comes out to just 6 gallons. Nebia, a San Francisco based company, is designing modern and efficient showers that are 70% more water efficient than traditional showers.
The technology used by Nebia has previously been applied only in rocket engines and medical devices, and it works like this: water is separated into millions of tiny drops, essentially creating a vapor spray that’s coming out of the shower head.
About a year ago, Nebia moved to San Francisco and got a first pilot at Equinox gyms. The success there led to a pilot at Google, which led to a pilot at Apple and then one at Stanford. Meanwhile, the company received attention from investors and was able to receive seed funding from Tim Cook, Eric Schmidt, and Y Combinator. Nebia is now doing a Kickstarter fundraising and has collected over $1.2M in just a short period of time — well above its $100K fundraising goal. With almost a month to go, we can expect the final raise on Kickstarter to be much higher. (Disclosure: GSV owns shares in Apple, Google).
Nebia plans to sell its smart shower in May 2016 for $400 a piece. While this is way too expensive for it to be a game changer on global scale, it is a first step in the right direction. If Nebia reaches scale by selling to the upper class, it will be able to achieve lower costs and will get to better pricing down the road. The iPhone and Tesla car are good analogies, as both started selling to high-end customers and were expensive at first, but then they became cheaper due to massive scale and due to improving technology, and they became cheaper and more attractive to the broader population. (Disclosure: GSV owns shares in Tesla)
As published in this week’s A 2 Apple: http://bit.ly/1JljoRo