Challenge #2 ~ Shorter Showers

Read the blog post on the March Theme: WATER

Image by 955169 from Pixabay

You like to sing in the shower? Fantastic! It makes for a happy day! Your challenge for this week is to build a play-list of your favorite songs, maximum 4 minutes in length. Why? Read on!

The average shower lasts eight minutes and uses about 68 liters of water, since a standard showerhead has a water flow of about 8.3 liters per minute. If everyone in Qatar showers once, this accounts for a whopping 190 Million liters of water per day, not counting any other water use.  

That is a lot of water for an arid country with limited water resources. And even though Qatar is literally a country without water, water consumption of 500 liters per person per day is one of the highest in the world.

Qatar receives a mere 74 mm – that is millimeters – of rain annually. Groundwater is mainly used for agriculture.

“Groundwater occurs in a form of fresh lenses mainly in the northern part of the country, sitting atop of brackish and saline groundwater. Seawater has progressively intruded inland over the last decades because of over-pumping. As a result, the water table has dramatically dropped to unprecedented levels and salinity increased, in addition to other adverse environmental impacts.”

Vulnerability Assessment of Groundwater Aquifers in Qatar by Husam Baalousha

So where does our fresh (potable) water for drinking and showering come from? 100 percent of Qatar’s drinking water is provided through desalination, an energy-intensive process.

Why is using less of that desalinated water important? Less water use requires less energy, produces less wastewater requiring treatment, and results in a lower environmental footprint. Not only that, it helps our communities be less vulnerable, more resilient, because Qatar only has 2 days worth of freshwater reserves. (yes, that’s very scary)

For your ongoing challenge, with your favorite 4-minute songs, let’s cut shower time in half each day, to save:

  • 34 liters per person per day
  • 238 liters per person per week
  • 1,031 liters per person per month
  • 12,375 liters per person per year

A 4-minute shower is still twice as long as the 2-minute shower campaign that helped prevent Cape Town, South Africa from running out of water in November 2017. For extra credit, try showering for only 2 minutes and access your play-list here. The South African artists who contributed to the shortened shower songs project range from pop singer Jimmy Nevis and rapper Youngsta to rock band Desmond & The Tutus.


USEPA Water Sense, Save Water and Energy by Showering Better, accessed 24 February 2019