As I hadn’t thought of this idea when I was in Brighton in early January, March provided my first opportunity to measure my water use at a hotel as I was in Manchester overnight. I realised I would need some extra kit, as the hotel was unlikely to provide guests with a measuring jug or a sub-meter to the water supply in their room.

The battery on my watch failed on the train journey up but luckily Lucy Pedler of The Green Register had a stopwatch app on her phone. She was happy to stand outside the bathroom listening to the shower going on and off and timing my every move, which means that I can deliver the following detailed information…

In total I was in the shower with the water on for 128 seconds. This broke down as 28 seconds to get wet the first time, 45 seconds to rinse off the shampoo, 55 seconds to rinse the soap and conditioner off. It wasn’t possible to time how long I was in the shower without any water flow but expect it was another three or so minutes as per my usual meandering soaping up method.

Three x five second bursts of filling the measuring jug gave an average flow rate of 9.6 litres/minute. Therefore total water used was 9.6 litres by 2.13 minutes = 20.5 litres. Note that I did not need to wait for the water to heat up as Lucy had just had a shower and unfortunately I hadn’t thought to time it. I’m surprised I used so little at a hotel and Lucy was certainly impressed. She wondered whether I had speeded up because she was timing me but I can honestly say I didn’t. If I was an average UK water user I would still have had 129.5 litres of water left for the rest of the day.

March 2012 – Showering to the nearest second