The drought in the western US is the worst and most widespread it has been in at least 20 years, and maybe even longer. Even though it seems like a small change, putting in water saving shower head and other low-flow plumbing fixtures can make a big difference.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that if all US homes switched to shower heads with the WaterSense label, we could save about $5.4 billion a year on water and energy costs (EPA).
Stainless Steel High Sierra Showerhead
This award-winning low-flow showerhead is made of all metal, so the spray is strong and complete even though it only uses 1.5 GPM. It comes in Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or Polished Brass (there are also options for 1.8 and 2 GPM). The showerhead is made in the United States by a family-owned business. It is made of solid metal and is resistant to mineral buildup.
The WaterSense Certified High Sierra showerhead saves 40 percent more water and the energy that would have been used to heat that water. The design is slim and small, which makes it great for small spaces like the showers in many small homes and apartments. You can save even more water while you lather by using a trickle valve that you can turn on and off with a swivel or a button.
However, there are a few problems to think about. First, this showerhead only has one setting: a strong stream that soaks you. If you are used to a flow rate of 2 GPM, this may be too much for you. However, this is a great replacement if you have used a showerhead with a GPM of more than 2.5.
The second trouble is noise. The High Sierra showerhead is not as quiet as some competitors because it is so strong. If you are sensitive to noise, you might look for a low-flow showerhead elsewhere. This is true, but some say running their water faucets down makes less noise.
The 2016 winner of the EPA WaterSense Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration is our top choice for a showerhead. It also meets the requirements of the Buy American Act. This showerhead is cheap and will last a long time.
This shower head is great for places with hard water because it will not get clogged. If you want to remove the scale for aesthetic reasons, you can take it off and soak it in white vinegar for a few hours.
This shower head is great for off-grid homes like RVs, campers, small homes, yachts, and log cabins because it only needs 0.625 GPM. The Bricor UltraMax has one of the lowest flow rates on the market, but it is very efficient solid brass and WaterSense Certified.
This ultra-low-flow design is not fancy, but the Bricor UltraMax still provides a steady stream that gets the job done. The 1 GPM model, which you can find on Bricor, is popular at universities, hotels, and military bases, but you do not need it unless your hair is very long or thick.
As a bonus, this showerhead uses so little water, even during long showers, that bathroom fans do not have to run. This saves even more energy and is another way to save money. Bricor is a part of the US Green Building Council and makes products that save water.