Some places say that showering uses less water. Others claim that baths do because the water is contained and controlled. All of this contradicting information is confusing to most. EnviroCitizen.org has compiled the key points of this debate to help you decide which you think is better for you.
The average bath requires 100 to 200 liters of water. Depending on your showerhead, whether it has a flow restrictor in it and how long you shower, it may use less water than a bath. The average shower of four minutes with an old showerhead uses almost 100 liters of water. With a low-flow showerhead, that amount is cut nearly by half. If your home was constructed in the early 1990s or before, chances are your showerheads force out nearly 20 gallons a minute, which adds up quickly.
If you’d like to test the amount of water possibly wasted, here’s an experiment you could try at home. Put the plug in the bathtub next time you take a shower. If you have just a shower, put a container by the drain for somewhat of an idea of how much you use, though it may not be as accurate as a combination shower and bath. After you’ve showered, examine how much has been filled up. If there is less water than you would usually have in a bath, then you will probably save money by taking a shower instead of a bath. If it’s the other way around, then consider bathing instead.
The time used to take a shower is not the only way to determine water use, however. As previously mentioned, water consumed is also dependent on the type of shower you use. Powerful shower fixtures can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes. Low-flow showerheads deliver less water per minute and are relatively inexpensive. Older showerheads use up to 30 liters of water per minute. Air mixture shower heads can use even less than low-flow showerheads and have a great deal of water pressure behind them.
If you believe that a shower cannot equal the gratification of a bath, then it is recommended that you partially fill your bath in order to use less water. Also, plug up the bath before turning on the water so the tub fills as it warms up. This practice will save an abundance of water as well.
As you can see, this is an easily subjective and debatable topic. EnviroCitizen.org suggests you test out your habits and see where you stand and you’ll be able to understand what works best for you.