Water Conservation in Homes

By: Max Guinn

At the beginning of the semester, E block was assigned with a house ware project. We were assigned this project to use our thinking skills and problem solving skills to find a solution. Everyone in E block was suppost to find a space in the house and work with that space. We all have at least three interviews on the subject. The first step was to think of a space that you have high interest in, Conduct three interviews, than identify the problem in that space, and finally find a new way to solve it.

For my space I chose the bathroom because I am very interested in water conservation because of the drought that has impacted so many people in California. The hardest part was coming up with the right questions. I conducted a draft of questions and had three different interviews. I gathered information from all three interviews, Than grouped six categories that were a significant problem or solution. In the next semester I want to use the information that I have gathered to solve and create some type of soltion to the problem of water conservation in homes to help make peoples lives easier and more tolerable when dealing with conserving water.

1st Interview: Family of four from San Diego. Have lots of places in their home where they use water and areas that need to be fixed. They have a pool that uses lots of water and two teenagers that take very long showers. They should have multiple designs because they have lots of areas in their home in which they use water.

2nd Interview: She was born in San Diego but houses college kids for a living and they are from Colorado. Has lots of areas that she uses water. She has a large backyard with lots of plants and grass, and has three showers. Already has a device calles the “Shower Manager” but it has multiple problems.

3rd Interview: Both Cristian and Kelly work in product developement and know lots about products in the market and how to come up with solutions to problems.

2–3 Areas For Further Research: I have narrowed down my research from my previous interviews and have picked some key research areas that I would like to focus on. I want to learn more about the temperature of water that is just right in order for the user to get in. While they are waiting for the water to warm up they are wasting a lot of water and that waiting could be 2–5 minutes. I will conduct interviews on several different people to get as many results that I can so than I can figure out the right temperature of water. I also want to find out where they value water most in their home. I will film them doing certain things dealing with water in their homes and will create my hypothesis answering that question. In all of my interviews they took at least a 20 minute shower! I want to find out how much water they are actually wasting vs. how much water they think their wasting. (Perceived vs. Reality). I will time them taking a shower and once they are done I will place buckets in the shower and run the shower for that same amount of time and see how much water was wasted.

4th Interview: This interview touches on the different areas that I am working and heading towards. I learned what temperature they like the shower to be before they get in which is high 90’s or 100 degrees. What they do while their waiting for the water to warm up. A rough estimation of how much water they think their wasting while showering and brushing their teeth. If you take a 10 minute shower you are using 40 gallons of water. An average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week. It took Nikolas ans Micheal’s shower about a minute to warm up but it took Gavin’s shower a whole 2 minutes and during those two minutes the water is constantly flowing down the drain.

Problem Statement #1: For people who want their water to be hot immediately. I want to limit their waiting time.

Problem Statement #2: The current solutions that are out their are terrible. I want to almost modify the devices for the shower or the sink to make them more appealing to everybody. I want it to cost almost nothing and require no effort.

Problem Statement #3: I want to eliminate misconception of how much water people are actually wasting.

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